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California Doctor Plans to Open Offshore Abortion Clinic in the Gulf of Mexico

AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe

A pro-abortion San Francisco doctor is planning to open an offshore abortion clinic in the Gulf of Mexico to provide abortions to women in states with pro-life laws after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade


Dr. Meg Autry is the vice chair of graduate medical education and continuing medical education for the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at University of California, San Francisco. She is head of PRROWESS, which stands for Protecting Reproductive Rights of Women Endangered by State Statutes. The organization is working to open the floating clinic in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to the organization’s website, the vessel will be located in federal waters in the Gulf near states like Alabama, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, where abortion is restricted. In federal waters, the clinic will not be bound by state abortion laws. 

The website’s FAQ page notes that the abortion vessel will be Coast Guard inspected and will have helicopter access for transport and emergencies. It will have a full team of licensed health care providers and plans to offer abortions at “little to no cost to the patient.” It notes that it will provide health care services to all individuals, documented and undocumented.

CBS News reported that the project is expected to cost at least $20 million. The PRROWESS website asks supporters to donate toward the project.

"This is all about bodily autonomy and choice, and so people have a right to be pregnant and also not to have a pregnancy," Autry told CBS. She said that people who “care deeply about access to reproductive rights” have to be “innovative and creative” going forward.


CBS noted that Autry is working with a team of attorneys and looking for a donated boat to get the project underway. 

"There's operational logistics, there's the whole idea of maritime law and then there's obviously security, there's liability, I mean the challenges are countless," Autry said.

If the group secures funding in the foreseeable future, the offshore abortion clinic could be open in one year.

Townhall covered last week how Mississippi’s last abortion clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, closed its doors for good after a judge denied its request to block a pro-life trigger law from taking effect in the state. JWHO was the abortion clinic in the Supreme Court case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which resulted in Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey being overturned. As Townhall noted, JWHO plans to set up shop in New Mexico. Abortion provider Whole Woman’s Health is moving their Texas clinics to New Mexico as well.

Last summer, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch filed an amicus brief in the Dobbs case asking the justices to overturn Roe and Casey. In her brief, Fitch outlined how the United States Constitution does not protect the right to abortion and how both decisions were “egregiously wrong.”


Roe and Casey are egregiously wrong. The conclusion that abortion is a constitutional right has no basis in text, structure, history, or tradition,” Fitch said in the brief. “So the question becomes whether this Court should overrule those decisions. It should.”

“The Constitution does not protect a right to abortion. The Constitution’s text says nothing about abortion. Nothing in the Constitution’s structure implies a right to abortion or prohibits States from restricting it,” Fitch continued in the brief. “Casey repeats Roe’s flaws by failing to tie a right to abortion to anything in the Constitution. And abortion is fundamentally different from any right this Court has ever endorsed. No other right involves, as abortion does, ‘the purposeful termination of a potential life.’”

In the Supreme Court's majority opinion for Dobbs, the Justices wrote that the U.S. Constitution does not protect the right to abortion and determined that Roe and Casey were wrongly decided.

"The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives," the opinion stated. 

"Like the infamous decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, Roe was also egregiously wrong and on a collision course with the Constitution from the day it was decided. Casey perpetuated its errors, calling both sides of the national controversy to resolve their debate, but in doing so, Casey necessarily declared a winning side. Those on the losing side—those who sought to advance the State's interest in fetal life—could no longer seek to persuade their elected representatives to adopt policies consistent with their views. The Court short-circuited the democratic process by closing it to the large number of Americans who disagreed with Roe." 



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