Californian doctor Meg Autry has offered an innovative solution for those seeking abortions in southern US states where bans were put in place after the fall of Roe v. Wade.
Autry presented the idea of a floating abortion clinic in the Gulf of Mexico as an option to maintain access for people who would have to travel long distances to receive treatment.
The proposed vessel, named PROROWESS, would be beyond the reach of state laws and would offer surgical abortions, contraception and other first-trimester care, according to its website. PRROWESS stands for the protection of women’s reproductive rights threatened by state statutes.
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Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, all states that ban abortion, are far from the states where abortion is legal. New Mexico, for example, offers legalized abortion procedures as one of the closest for Texans, and is a 10-hour drive from Dallas.
Additionally, Florida state law, which came into effect after a legal back-and-forth, prohibits abortions after 15 weeks, with exceptions if the procedure is necessary to save the life of the pregnant person.
“It’s closer and faster access for some people, especially workers who live in the southernmost part of these states,” Autry said.
“There has been an attack on reproductive rights in our country, and I am a lifelong advocate for reproductive health and choice. We need to create options and be thoughtful and creative in helping people living in restrictive states get the health care they deserve.”
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Autry said his legal team believes there is a portion of federal water where licensed providers could safely and legally provide abortions beyond the reach of state laws.
The proposed clinic is in the early stages of fundraising. Autry told NBC Bay Area that at least $20 million needed to be raised for the “complete” idea of the all-in-one clinic to come to fruition.
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“Part of the reason we’re working so hard on this project is that the wealthy in our country will still have access (to abortion), so again, this is a time when poor people, people of color , marginalized individuals, are going to suffer — and by suffering, I mean like lost lives,” Autry told NBC Bay Area.
Contributor: The Associated Press