USA – Meet the Doctors Taking to the High Seas to Perform Abortions

They might be in murky legal water.

Maddie Bender
Updated Jul. 24, 2022

When states cracked down on gambling in the 20th century, Americans took their money offshore to casino boats in the Mississippi River and along the Pacific Coast. They reasoned that once a vessel was more than 12 nautical miles offshore, it would be outside of U.S. territorial waters—and therefore wouldn’t have to abide by gambling restrictions.

Inspired by these boats, one doctor is betting on these same legal loopholes to set up a floating health clinic in the Gulf of Mexico and offer comprehensive reproductive care, including surgical abortions. It’s not a completely new idea, and it’s not uncontroversial, either: Some wonder whether the idea is more of a performative gimmick than a feasible solution to reproductive care, and there are a slew of legal issues to take into account, too. But all agree that it is the kind of workaround that will proliferate in a post-Roe America.


If You Can’t Get an Abortion on Land, Can You Get One on a Boat?

A doctor explains her long-brewing plan to set up a floating clinic in the Gulf of Mexico.

JULY 14, 2022

In the weeks since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, reproductive health clinics in states with abortion bans have been forced to curtail their services. This has been particularly acute in the South, where there will soon be no legal abortion services in a wide swath of the country.

Some patients are now forced to travel hundreds of miles for care. Someday soon, they may not have to. To serve patients on the Gulf Coast who may be closer to the water than an abortion clinic, Amy Autry, an OB-GYN and professor at the University of California San Francisco, is spearheading a project that would provide abortion services on a boat in federal waters a few miles off the coastline. The nonprofit is called PRROWESS, an acronym that stands for Protecting Reproductive Rights Of Women Endangered by State Statutes.


Why Are We Restricting the Abortion Pill to First-Trimester Pregnancies?

By Lux Alptraum
JULY 8, 2022

For the past few years, medication abortions have been on the rise in the United States, accounting for 54 percent of abortions performed in 2020 (up from just 39 percent in 2017). With last month’s gutting overturn of Roe v. Wade, that number is now expected to spike even higher despite the legal risks in states where abortion is now criminalized. The reasons are obvious: Medication abortion — a.k.a. “the abortion pill” — offers a safe way to terminate a pregnancy from the comfort of your home, even in places where abortion is criminalized. Clinics may shut their doors and doctors may refuse to provide abortions, but pills remain readily available online.

How Mexican feminists are helping Americans get abortions

American groups are sharing their abortion access models with US activists in
as Roe v Wade stands to be overturned

Cecilia Nowell
Fri 10 Jun 2022

In late January, nearly 70 abortion rights activists from across Mexico
gathered in a city along the US-Mexico border. For three days, they huddled in
hotel conference rooms, video chatting with activists in the US, who had been
unable to travel due to Covid-19 and an Arctic cold front. Together, they
strategized how to support Americans as abortion restrictions proliferated
across the US.

“It was three days of very, very, very, very cold outside, but very, very warm
inside,” Verónica Cruz Sánchez, director of Las Libres, a feminist organization
based in Guanajuato, Mexico, said.


USA – The Doctor Prescribing Abortions from Overseas

If Roe falls, then Rebecca Gomperts could become one of the most important medical figures in America.


Within a few weeks, if Roe v. Wade is overturned as expected, a Dutch doctor named Rebecca Gomperts may quickly become the most controversial abortion provider in America — even though she isn’t in America.

Gomperts and her organization, Aid Access, is already the only provider openly providing telehealth abortion in the 19 states that currently restrict access to such services; if you go the website of Plan C, a group providing information about abortion pills by mail, Aid Access is the sole provider listed for many of them.


Dutch doctor says group will keep sending abortion pills to US women

Issued on: 16/05/2022

Washington (AFP) – Rebecca Gomperts, a 55-year-old Dutch physician, has spent years fighting for women's access to abortion around the world.

Made famous by her "abortion boat," as recounted in the 2014 documentary "Vessel," she and her Women on Waves group have anchored the ship in international waters off the coasts of Poland, Spain, Mexico and other countries, offering medical abortions to women otherwise unable to obtain them.


Send in the Abortion Boats!

Or try something else, but you gotta do something for Texans, Joe Biden.

By Susan Rinkunas
Dec 15, 2021

After Texas’ six-week abortion ban took effect in September, President Joe Biden promised a “whole of government effort” to fight the law. That response so far appears to include more money for birth control (not a solution!) and a Department of Justice lawsuit against the state.

On Friday, the Supreme Court dismissed the DOJ’s lawsuit, and while it said that a challenge by abortion providers could move forward, they can only do so on very narrow grounds, and the court let the law stay in effect. There is another challenge to the law in state court, but there is no relief in sight for pregnant people in the second biggest state in the country.


‘Women are capable of doing this’: the doctor defying local laws to provide safe abortions by sea or mail

Dr Rebecca Gomperts made waves providing abortion in international waters around the world. Now she’s prepared to help American women

Moira Donegan
Sun 12 Dec 2021

It’s Sunday morning, less than a week after the US supreme court signaled that it was ready to pave the way for new restrictions on abortion rights in the US, and I’m on the phone with a Dutch abortion provider who has watched the proceedings from half a world away.

Dr Rebecca Gomperts tells me that she’s shocked with the situation in Texas, which recently enacted a near total ban on legal abortion – not because the state government passed the law, but because doctors in the state are largely complying with it.


What Does an At-Home Abortion Look Like in 2021?

The practice is often assumed to be dangerous, but Abigail Aiken’s data suggest that ordering abortion pills online, and inducing a miscarriage at home, is as safe as going to a clinic.

By Lizzie Widdicombe
November 11, 2021

It was the year 2000 in Derry, the second-largest city in Northern Ireland. The Good Friday Agreement had gone into effect two years earlier, bringing the Troubles to an end. The city seemed to be full of hope. But Abigail Aiken was full of dread. An academic star, she should have been focussed on the G.C.S.E.s, a set of exams that determine whether a sixteen-year-old in the U.K. will advance on a university track or end her education in high school. But as the exam date approached, Aiken’s mind kept wandering to something else: her period, which was more than a week late. Recently, her long-distance boyfriend had come to town for a weeklong visit, which had resulted in an unplanned romantic incident. Could she have gotten pregnant after her first time? That would be just her luck. She wanted to know, one way or the other, but this was Derry, a place where everyone knew everyone else’s business. What was she supposed to do, walk into the pharmacy and ask for a pregnancy test?


USA – We can’t count on the Supreme Court to save abortion rights. We’ll have to do it ourselves

OCT. 31, 2021

We have to face a disheartening fact: This country’s Supreme Court is no longer committed to protecting our constitutional rights.

The justices are believed to be on the verge of overturning Roe vs. Wade, or at least whittling it down to a meaningless stub by allowing brutally restrictive state abortion laws to stand.