Docked Forever? Women on Waves ‘Abortion Boat’ Is No More

Amie Newman

The so-called "abortion ship", a floating campaign for the abortion pill in international waters, may be anchored forever with a change in Dutch law and a growing opposition, worldwide, to abortion.

The Dutch "abortion boat" run by the organization Women on Waves (WoW) has announced it will anchor, possibly permanently.

After ten years of sailing through international waters, informing women about the abortion pill and distributing it through their organization, WoW has docked the ship, cancelling all of its upcoming trips . It’s a sign of the times. Rebecca Gompert, founder of WoW and from whose expertise and passion the ship was borne, says that opposition to abortion is only growing worldwide and that, in fact, Obama’s leadership has only empowered anti-abortion forces:

"In the
US, anti-abortion groups have multiplied their activity since Obama became
president. Before Bush was their good friend and they were able to do much
the legal way. Now that Obama is protecting women’s right to chose the
number of threats and cases of harassment has tripled. And those American
clubs are training their allies in Europe. We see a lot of aggression now at
protests in countries like Poland and Ireland." 

The Dutch government, in May, changed their abortion laws to serious effect. The government decided to "limit their distribution of abortion pills to specially approved clinics only", according to an article in the international publication, NRC Handelsblad. WoW had received special permission from the former Dutch Health Minister but now they are being denied as a distribution point for the pills. 

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The Health Inspection Office is even going so far as to ask the public prosecutor’s office to prosecute WoW for distributing the abortion pill to women off the coast of Spain in 2008. This latest development has also forced WoW into an extremely challenging position, needing to defend itself and build a case. 

Gomperts said that in light of the current obstacles, docking the boat was the only option right now:

"We had planned to campaign this year with a yacht off the
coasts of Nicaragua, Chile, Brazil and Argentina. Our legal system states
that what is allowed under Dutch law is also allowed in international
waters. So women boarding our ship did not have to fear prosecution. Now
they risk prosecution in their own country if the Dutch health inspection
rules that we are working outside the law. That’s a risk we couldn’t take,
so we had to call off the campaign." 

Gomperts has always seen the WoW ship as "righting an enormous wrong." According to the article,

At one point Gomperts envisaged an entire fleet of abortion boats registered
in the Netherlands. They would anchor in international waters and carry out
abortions, distribute medication and train local staff. For Gomperts it was
her way to right an enormous wrong: the 20 million women who undergo illegal
abortions every year worldwide, and especially the 68,000 women who die as a
result each year – a plane crash a day. 

She is far from resigned though. She makes sure, in the article, to also discuss her project, Women on Web, a web site where women from those places around the world where abortion is illegal can request and receive the abortion pill, in the mail.

Read the rest of the article here

Roundup: Scott Roeder is Going to Trial

Amy Dempsey

Scott Roeder is Going to Trial; Abortion is Banned in Nicaragua; Florida Woman Promised Her Unborn Baby to Two Adoption Agencies

Scott Roeder is Going to Trial
At the end of Tuesday’s
hearing, a judge decided that there was enough evidence to try Scott
Roeder, an anti-abortion advocate who is accused of killing abortion
provider Dr. George Tiller. Roeder is charged with first-degree murder,
to which his lawyers entered a not-guilty plea, according to the New York Times.

Tiller’s
family was not at the hearing, and neither were members of Operation
Rescue, an anti-abortion group whose national headquarters were moved
to Wichita, KS, which was also the home to Tiller’s clinic, the New York Times reported.

If
convicted, Roeder could serve a life sentence. Prosecuters say the case
does not meet Kansas’s requirements for the death penalty, which
include killing a law enforcement officer or killing multiple people,
according to the article.

Roeder
is also charged with two counts of aggravated assault for threatening
two other men serving as ushers that day. One of the men was Gary
Hoepner, who had been talking with Tiller moments before he was shot.

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"Mr.
Hoepner said he followed Mr. Roeder outside toward the parking
lot, but stopped when the man turned and called out, "I’ve got a gun,
and I’ll shoot you." Mr. Martin ran after Mr. Roeder, too, he
testified, and at one point called out to him, "How could you do that?"
The man yelled back something, Mr. Martin said, like, "he was a
murderer" or "he was a killer."

When
the man reached his car, Mr. Martin was about 10 feet away, blocking
the car’s exit. Mr. Roeder yelled "Move!" Mr. Martin recalled, but he
stayed put. At that, Mr. Martin said, the man pulled out the gun,
pointed it at him, and said, ‘I’ll shoot you.’"

 

Abortion is Banned in Nicaragua

Amnesty
International called Nicaragua’s abortion ban a "cruel, inhuman
disgrace" and has led to increased maternal deaths, according to CNN.com. The ban includes prohibiting therapeutic abortion-terminating a pregnancy in protection of the mother’s health.

In the article,
Amnesty International’s Executive Deputy Secretary General Kate Gilmore
said:

"Nicaragua’s ban on therapeutic abortion is a disgrace…It is a
human rights scandal that ridicules medical science
and distorts the law into a weapon against the provision of essential
medical care to pregnant girls and women."

Gilmore was part of the Amnesty group that went to Nicaragua to gather
accounts from Nicaraguan women and medical professionals, who receive
prison sentences for getting abortions or provide services linked to
abortions. CNN
reported that Amnesty concluded that doctors are nurses are afraid of
treating pregnant women or girls for illnesses like cancer, malaria
HIV/AIDS or cardiac emergencies, where treatments could injure the
fetus or cause death to the fetus.

Nicaragua is one of few countries worldwide where abortion is illegal
regardless of the circumstances. Other countries include Chile, El
Salvador, Malta, the Philippines and the Dominican Republic, according
to CNN.

Florida Woman Promised Her Unborn Baby to Two Adoption Agencies
In Orlando, FL, Latasha Harlee, 25, was sentenced to six months in jail
for offering her baby to two adoption agencies, and collecting $6,300
before telling the soon-to-be adoptive parents she changed her mind.
She also lied about her due date, according to The Associated Press.

OTHER NEWS TO NOTE:

July 28: The Independent: Pro-life zealot on trial over US murder of ‘hated’ doctor

July 28: Examiner: Review of Perspectives on Confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court

July 28: LifeNews: Oakland Still Wants to Stop Pro-Life Pastor Walter Hoye From Protesting Abortion

July 28: Tapestry Health: Early Coital Debut and Associated HIV Risk Factors Among Young Women and Men in South Africa

July 28: Politics Daily:Margaret Sanger: The Other Side of the Story

July 27: Truthout: These Denialogues Don’t Care if Their Own Children End Up With Syphilis

July 28: Tapestry Health: Role of Parents in Adolescent Sexual Activity And Contraceptive Use in Four African Countries

July 28: USA Today: Religious voices stake moral claims on health care reform 

July 28: Michigan Messenger:In health care debate, Stupak gives mixed signals on abortion funding

July 28: NYTimes: Witness Tells of Abortion Provider’s Last Moments

July 28: Moderate Voice: Keep Abortion Funding Out Of Health Reform 

July 28: Feministing: The cost of Nicaragua’s abortion ban

July 28: The Swamp: Healthcare hurdle: Abortion funding    

July 28: Pro-Life Blogs: FRC Action to Host Webcast on the Government Takeover of Health Care

July 28: Creative Minority Report: More Condoms Needed!

July 28: AP: Witness describes shooting of Kan. abortion doctor

July 28: Fort Wayne: Largest abortion provider should not continue to get federal funds  

July 28: LifeSiteNews: Pro-life Gov. Palin Resigns, Thanks Alaska in Farewell Address Sunday

July 28: Human Events: Sotomayor: Fundamental Right To Abortion, Not to Bear Arms  

July 28: CNN: Nicaragua abortion ban ‘cruel and inhuman disgrace’ 

July 28: Cleveland Plain Dealer: Catholic church touts its own natural plan for effective birth control: Healthy Cleveland 

July 28: Ethica: Fighting for "orphans" 

July 28: Experience Project: Trying to Outlaw This Is Ridiculous

July
28: Metro Catholic: Ribbon-cutting
ceremony moved inside after pro-life activists staged a public witness
during an appearance by the First Lady at a Virginia health clinic.

July 27: Catholic News Agency: Church does not approve of therapeutic abortion, reiterates diocesan official in Nicaragua

July 27: NRC Handelsblad: Dutch abortion boat to sail no more

July 28: STL Today: Stop taxpayer-funded abortion

July 28: AP: Woman promised baby to 2 adoption agencies

July 28: Human Events:Obamacare Pushes Abortion

July 27: Kansas City Star: Letters reveal evolving beliefs of man charged with killing George Tiller  

July 27: KAKE 10: Both Sides Of Abortion Issue Watching Roeder Case Closely