“Women on Waves” abortion ship docks in Mexico

By Dave Andrusko

When last we reported on the infamous “Women on Waves,” the Guatemalan army had just blocked its attempts to give out abortion pills from a ship outside Guatemalan waters, in circumvention of the country’s laws. That was two months ago.

Last June Women on Waves used a drone to fly abortifacients from a location in Omeath, Ireland, to a spot across the river to somewhere near Narrow Water in Northern Ireland. It is still not clear if any women took chemical abortifacients. Those are just two of many Women on Waves attempts to subvert abortion laws.

According to their webpage, their ship has arrived in Mexico. If they are to believe, they began performing chemical abortions on Thursday. “The boat has already sailed out with women to international waters where women can get free legal medical abortions till 9 weeks of pregnancy.”

Women on Waves correctly observes that abortion laws vary in the 31 states (and one federal district) that make up Mexico.

But as Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon, NRLC’s director of education, reminded me

It isn’t clear from any of the many stories that have been published on their efforts that ANYONE has EVER gotten an abortion from the “abortion ship.” It was, and always has been, a big publicity ploy (a) to try to get the country to change its abortion policies and/or b) to publicize information about getting and using common drugs like misoprostol to self-abort or even to drive them to WOW’s “I need an abortion” website where they can order mifepristone and misoprostol for themselves.

(Mifepristone and misoprostol are the two-drugs that make up “RU-486” abortions.)

Promoters have, of course, downplayed the risks of chemical abortifacients. Women who are pregnant (unlike some of those participating in publicity stunts who were not) who take mifepristone will cramp and bleed profusely. Many may deal with serious nausea, diarrhea, and other forms of gastrointestinal distress. These alone have been enough to put some women in the hospitals.

Of course, something Women on Waves never mentions when touting the chemical abortions are “safer than Viagra” or have been deemed an “essential medicine by the World Health Organization” (which tells you more about WHO than it does about “essential medicines”) is that at a minimum 19 women have died since a 2011 FDA report.

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