July 9, 2022

A Bay Area OB-GYN is organizing an effort to bring abortion services and reproductive healthcare to several southern states bordering the Gulf of Mexico via a ship sailing on federal waters. Dr. Meg Autry, who also works as a professor at UCSF, had already been working to bring this effort to life. But when Roe v. Wade was overturned, Autry said their plans were accelerated.

As first reported by KCBS, this plan called PRROWESS aims to bring reproductive healthcare to states where abortions are banned, limited, or hard to access.

In an interview with NBC Bay Area, Autry pointed out that people living in southern parts of states like Texas and Louisiana with restrictive abortion rules are actually closer to the coast than to nearby states with more abortion access. Plus, she noted, getting on a boat is cheaper and quicker than getting on a plane to another state.

The ship will operate on federal waters where the distance from the shore varies and the way that people will get to the ship will depend on where they are located. She and a team of licensed medical professionals will travel through the gulf and offer abortions up to fourteen weeks. The PRROWESS team would also offer other services you'd see at a reproductive health clinic, like treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

Services will be offered at little to no cost, she said.

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