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California doctor proposes floating abortion clinic in Gulf of Mexico, 9 miles off coast of Texas

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — A California doctor is proposing a floating abortion clinic in the Gulf of Mexico as a way to preserve access for people in southern states where abortion bans have been enacted.

The idea is to provide a clinic on a ship in federal waters, and away from state law, that would offer first-trimester surgical abortions, contraception and other care, said Dr. Meg Autry, an obstetrician and gynecologist and professor at the University of California San Francisco.

The clinic would be nine miles off the coast of Texas.

“There has been an attack on reproductive rights in our country, and I’m a lifelong advocate for reproductive health and choice. We need to create options and be thoughtful and creative to help people in restrictive states get the health care they deserve,” she said. The Associated Press.

Autry said the idea is only in the fundraising stage through the nonprofit, “PRROWESS” — short for “Protecting Reproductive Rights Of Women Endangered by State Statutes.”

The proposal comes as abortion access in the southern United States has been rapidly curtailed since the US Supreme Court turned the abortion issue over to the states.

Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas have enacted abortion bans. A Florida law, effective after legal reinstatement, bans abortions after 15 weeks, with exceptions if the procedure is necessary to save a life, prevent serious injury or if the fetus has a fatal abnormality.

Autry said her legal team believes there is a lane of federal water where licensed providers could safely and legally provide abortions away from state law. For women in southern states that ban abortions, going to shore and boarding a boat may be closer and easier than trying to travel to a state where abortion remains legal, she said.

“This is closer and faster access for some people, particularly workers who live in the southernmost part of these states,” he said.

Autry said they are still trying to figure out many of the details, such as where the boat will launch and how the women will get on board.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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California doctor proposes floating abortion clinic in Gulf of Mexico, 9 miles off coast of Texas Source link California doctor proposes floating abortion clinic in Gulf of Mexico, 9 miles off coast of Texas

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