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Sailing Around Dobbs: Activists Make Plans to Send Abortion Ship to Gulf of Mexico

July 12, 2022

The recent landmark Dobbs ruling returned the decision of abortion to the states — and pro-abortion groups are dreaming up ways to sidestep the Supreme Court’s ruling in states where abortion has already been outlawed.

According to KCBS Radio, San Francisco OB-GYN, professor, and pro-abortion activist, Dr. Meg Autry, is mobilizing a group to bring abortion access to women in pro-life states. Her bay area-based group, Protecting Reproductive Rights Of Women Endangered by State Statutes (or PRROWESS), is crafting plans to send an abortion clinic ship to the Gulf of Mexico, where they could carry out surgical abortions five miles off the shore on a ship in federal waters. They are currently in the process of fundraising a minimum of $20 million and even a ship donation.

Autry sprang to action following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, hoping to bring abortion access to women in south Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. “There’s been an assault on reproductive rights in our country, and I’m a lifelong advocate for reproductive health and choice,” she told the Associated Press. “We have to create options and be thoughtful and creative to help people in restrictive states get the health care they deserve.”

This plan appears similar to Dr. Rebecca Gompert’s efforts to bring abortion access to South and Central America through her Women on Waves initiative, a group that continues to engage in pro-abortion activism, fundraising, expanding access to abortion pills, and distributing abortion pills aboard their Dutch ships protected by Dutch law.

Despite the attempt to invent a loophole, former president of the Ethics and Public Policy Committee, Ed Whalen, has suspicions that this idea to carry out abortions in the Gulf will run into legal trouble. “This is unlikely to keep the abortionists out of legal peril,” he shared with The Washington Stand. “A state will have ample authority to punish those who solicit pregnant women within its borders and who transport them out of state for abortions.”

In post-Roe America, the Gulf states — Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas — all protect life from conception. In contrast with pro-abortion activists’ cries of injustice for women, Attorney General Lynn Fitch of Louisiana (R) wrote an exclusive commentary for The Washington Stand last week, stating that, “What we do in these weeks and months following the Dobbs decision is so important. We must be intentional about our words, actions, and tone. We have the power to shape the immediate reaction and the lasting conversation. It is vital that we exhibit humility, hopefulness, and respect and that we lead with civility.”

While Autry claims that PRROWESS’s plan to carry out abortions in a clinic at sea is helping Gulf state women in crisis, Joy Stockbauer, a policy analyst for FRC’s Center for Human Dignity, says that these funds support a cause that endangers women and do nothing to help them in their need. “The financial resources that the abortion industry is willing to expend to attack the unborn are always, in every case, resources that would have an actually positive impact on mothers if they were channeled toward empowering them to carry their children to term without enduring the trauma of abortion.”

The risks that at-sea abortions pose to women are great, according to Stockbauer. “Time and time again, pro-life organizations have reported on women being rushed from abortion clinics to the nearest emergency room to receive lifesaving care following abortion complications — shipping women out to sea with abortionists who care nothing about their actual health is a dangerous move.”

Marjorie Jackson is a reporter for The Washington Stand.