They might be in murky legal water.
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.