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All Abort? Dutch Nonprofit Bypasses Abortion Laws With Boat

I've heard of underage drinking and avoiding taxes over international waters, but circumventing abortion laws is a new one. Women on Waves sails to countries where abortion is illegal and provides early-term abortions — legally, thanks to Dutch law, which the ship sails under.

Always a gracious guest, Women on Waves never shows up sans an invite from local women's organizations. And it's latest venture in Spain is no exception. At the request of 33 local organizations, it dropped anchor at a port in Valencia, Spain.

With government initiatives to increase protection for women and doctors performing abortions, it's not surprising Women on Waves chose Spain. Its goal is not simply to provide abortions when they would be otherwise prohibited but also to garner support for legalizing abortion. While Spain decriminalized it in 1985, it's only available in limited cases — up to 12 weeks after rape; up to 22 weeks if the fetus is malformed; and at any time if the women's physical or mental health is jeopardized.

If you ask me this boat doesn't look much safer than a back-room abortion, but I haven't seen the inside. How would you feel if it docked off the US coast?

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janneth janneth 7 years
No matter what side you are on, you have to admit it is sad.
princess_eab princess_eab 7 years
I've heard of this before - it's been happening for awhile. Good for the Dutch.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
no prob liberty. I just saw it and at first thought it was my vision!
LibertySugar LibertySugar 7 years
Thanks for the catch!!
LibertySugar LibertySugar 7 years
Thanks for the catch!!
Jude-C Jude-C 7 years
I applaud Women on Waves for providing this service.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
you repeated provide twice after the docking off the coast of spain link.
ceej ceej 7 years
I was talking about this with my sister who runs a sexual health clinic in London and my friend who is an obstetrician in Sydney. My sister is counselling thirteen year olds who discover they are pregnant and my friend delivering them. Both said it's a very sad situation no matter what the outcome. It's a shame that a service like this boat needs to exist but thank goodness it does.
ceej ceej 7 years
I was talking about this with my sister who runs a sexual health clinic in London and my friend who is an obstetrician in Sydney.My sister is counselling thirteen year olds who discover they are pregnant and my friend delivering them.Both said it's a very sad situation no matter what the outcome.It's a shame that a service like this boat needs to exist but thank goodness it does.
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
i think that the cause is a good one and the goal of what they are doing is commendable, but i don't know if i would feel like going to that boat would leave me feeling very clean - just by the look of it. i'm sure that there's a lot more to be said about the inside. i'm certainly going to learn more about this organization though since i really know nothing about it. :)
Sticker1 Sticker1 7 years
Yeah what an interesting map on the website. The countries of the world that have the highest incidence of poverty seem to have the most stringent abortion laws (give or take a few outliers). I feel like simply outlawing abortion is hardly a good way to stop it. I read somewhere that more abortions per capita are performed in all of Latin America (where abortion is largely illegal) then in the US. Reminds me of the war on drugs. I would be interested in learning more about what the Pro-life right is doing to lower the rate of abortions besides trying to make it an issue of states rights. I also like that in Spain you can get an abortion only if your mental health is in danger (according to the website map). Also, New Zealand, Colombia, Algeria...funny that Australia and New Zealand differ so much on this one, what happened to all that ANZAC solidarity?
Sticker1 Sticker1 7 years
Yeah what an interesting map on the website. The countries of the world that have the highest incidence of poverty seem to have the most stringent abortion laws (give or take a few outliers). I feel like simply outlawing abortion is hardly a good way to stop it. I read somewhere that more abortions per capita are performed in all of Latin America (where abortion is largely illegal) then in the US. Reminds me of the war on drugs.I would be interested in learning more about what the Pro-life right is doing to lower the rate of abortions besides trying to make it an issue of states rights.I also like that in Spain you can get an abortion only if your mental health is in danger (according to the website map). Also, New Zealand, Colombia, Algeria...funny that Australia and New Zealand differ so much on this one, what happened to all that ANZAC solidarity?
stephley stephley 7 years
I'd contribute money toward a better boat.
Michelann Michelann 7 years
If you go to the website there's a really interesting map under the 'Facts' tab that shows you all the abortion laws in countries around the world. The color breakdown is sort of bizarre.
jessielynn657 jessielynn657 7 years
I say thanks for supporting women and their right to choose. Sadly though many women still do not have access to abortions because of their proximity or availability to get to the ocean when they are docked.
Michelann Michelann 7 years
I'm not sure why they would need to anchor on a U.S. coast. Maybe if South Dakota wasn't land-locked. I have mixed feelings about this boat. I certainly wouldn't want a boat like this sailing from the U.S. Using a 'navy' to help citizens of another country break their nations laws is sort of asking for an international incident.
Michelann Michelann 7 years
I'm not sure why they would need to anchor on a U.S. coast. Maybe if South Dakota wasn't land-locked. I have mixed feelings about this boat. I certainly wouldn't want a boat like this sailing from the U.S. Using a 'navy' to help citizens of another country break their nations laws is sort of asking for an international incident.
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