This Boat Sails Women Into International Waters To Give Abortions

Source: Huffington Post

WOMEN ON WAVES
Women on Waves boat off the coast of Mexico in April 2017.

A tiny nonprofit is bringing major attention to some countries’ restrictive reproductive health laws by delivering abortion pills to women ― in international waters.

Dutch group Women on Waves navigates its 36-foot sailboat to the coasts of countries that restrict abortion, brings women aboard, and sails them into international waters to give them abortion pills for free. Women on Waves steers its passengers more than 12 miles off the coast, where the boat operates under the laws of its country’s flag ― Austria, which allows abortion during the first three months of pregnancy.

Last month, the group’s boat docked off the coast of Mexico, which has strict abortion laws. For several days, the group sailed women into international waters to provide them with a combination of mifepristone and misoprostol pills, a form of medical abortion recommended as “effective and safe” by the World Health Organization.

“It makes clear the absurdity of the laws: to go to international waters only to take a pill,” Women on Waves’ Leticia Zenevich told HuffPost. “The fact that women need to leave the state sovereignty to retain their own sovereignty ― it makes clear states are deliberately stopping women from accessing their human right to health.”

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