Politics & Policy

Taking to the Sea

The latest pro-abortion heroine hits the waves

As feminists once again gather under the auspices of the United Nations this week to ensure codification of reproductive rights (abortion) for all women, worldwide, one woman is taking the job into her own hands. Rebecca Gomperts, a Dutch doctor, is planning an international effort to single-handedly bring abortion to every woman who wants one.

Still in the development stage, Gomperts’s Sea Change project hopes to sail a floating clinic to Third World and conservative (read: oppressive) nations which make it impossible for women to have legal and “safe” abortions. On her boat, a crew of five will be able to treat 25 patients at a given time, taking them into international waters to administer “treatments” — medical and surgical. (For pregnancies under seven weeks, her website promises, women may be “treated with medication (mifepristone and misoprostol).” That, for the record, is the bloody RU-486, still not quite legal even in the relatively liberal United States.)

According to the Netherlands-based Women on Waves Foundation’s website: “Working in close cooperation with local organizations, the Sea Change will create a floating platform for the provision and advocacy of reproductive health services including safe and legal abortion outside territorial waters, for women in countries where such services are difficult to obtain and often illegal. It will sail to countries around the world to provide training, workshops, information, contraceptives and abortion.”

Their mission “is about women’s empowerment, reproductive rights and women’s human rights. The possibility for women to decide over their own fertility has every thing to do with women’s empowerment and emancipation. If a young girl has an unwanted pregnancy and is forced it to term, she might never be able to finish or even start her education. But even when we consider a mother with one or more children (the biggest group seeking abortion services) freedom of fertility has consequences for the entire family.” Women on Waves plans to be part of a larger movement that would soon legalize all forms of abortion in those oppressive lands which currently restrict them.

Prepared for battle, Gomperts plans to be ready for the violence “of the sort that takes place in the USA,” arming the Sea Change with alarm systems, video surveillance, bullet-proof vests for patients and crew members, and “further technology which we are not at liberty to reveal.”

This is the kind of false compassion that feminists (and liberals in general) love. The radical Ms. magazine quotes a representative from the U.N.’s World Health Organization, Robin Cook, on the goals of Women on Waves: “If more women took these kinds of risks, we’d all be better off.” And later in the piece she describes Gomperts as a “Doctors Without Borders for women. I really think she may join the ranks of the reproductive pioneers of the twentieth century.”

Under the guise of human rights,Sea Change promises to rank right up there with so many other women-centered crusades that, at the end of the day, prove only to hurt women and destroy lives.

Gomperts hopes that the ship will help “create a new image of abortion politics and a worldwide pact between women, abortion providers and pro-choice activists.” A more honest image, perhaps. Abortion on demand, wherever you may be. But it’s really just more of the same: responsibility-free sex.


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