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Doctor seeks funds and boat for floating abortion clinic

Morocco Abortion Ship
Women’s rights activists sail a small boat around a yacht harbor in Smir, northern Morocco on Thursday Oct 4 2012 to raise awareness about safe abortions, despite officials’ efforts to seal the port and anti-abortion protests on land. Organizers had initially said a large ship offering abortion information and services was on its way from the Netherlands on Thursday. In response, police sealed the port for what it called “military maneuvers” and denied journalists access. But in the afternoon, organizers admitted that they already had stationed a sailboat in the port several days ago, fearing that authorities would close the port. And that sailboat took off around the harbor bearing banners. Meanwhile, on land, about 200 protesters targeted the activists from “Women on Waves,” the Dutch organization behind the boat. (AP Photo/Paul Schemm).

Every state along the U.S. Gulf Coast, including Florida, plans to impose abortion bans of varying degrees now that the Supreme Court has essentially overturned Roe v. Wade.

So as a solution, one physician hopes to open a clinic serving all of those states on a ship.

California doctor, Meg Autry, has visions of a shipboard medical clinic anchored nine miles off the coast of Texas in federal waters even before Roe v. Wade was overturned.

The proposed ship, tabbed PRROWESS, would be out of reach of state laws and offer first-trimester surgical abortions, contraception and other care, according to its website.

PRROWESS stands for Protecting Reproductive Rights of Women Endangered by State Statutes.

Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, all states that have abortion bans, are far  from states where abortion is legal.

Also, Florida’s new state law, prohibits abortions after 15 weeks, with exceptions if the procedure is necessary to save the pregnant person’s life.

Dr. Autry is still working to raise the $20-million needed to retrofit a boat on which she can perform the abortions.  She also hopes that the ship will be donated.

Autry also has a list of lawyers working pro bono because she does anticipate legal challenges throughout the entire journey.

She hopes to launch the floating abortion clinic in the next year.