Dutch Abortion Boat Hopes to Return to Portugal After Legal Battle

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 13, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Dutch Abortion Boat Hopes to Return to Portugal After Legal Battle Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 13, 2004

Lisbon, Portugal (LifeNews.com) — After the legal battle in Portuguese courts over whether the Dutch abortion ship can dock in the western European country, the pro-abortion group that operates the converted tugboat says it will return, if possible.

The Borndiep’s crew tried to sail for the Portuguese shore, but the Catholic country’s top officials called on a naval vessel to block the ship and prevent it from docking at a harbor in the northern part of the country.

A Portuguese court upheld the decision earlier this week, but Women on Waves, the pro-abortion group sponsoring the boat, has appealed.

"When the legal battle concerning the decision of the Portuguese Minister of Defence, Portas to refuse the ship’s entry to national waters have [sic] been won, it will return to Portugal," the group said in a press release.

The ship sailed to the Netherlands over the weekend for the crew to rest and to resupply.

Although the abortion ship failed to distribute any abortion drugs to Portuguese women, abortion practitioner Rebecca Gomperts appeared on a television talk show and instructed women on how to purchase an ulcer drug at pharmacies and misuse it to produce an abortion.

Last week, Rev. Thomas Euteneuer, president of Human Life International, said Gomperts, founder of WOW, could possibly be prosecuted for her appearance on the show. A Portuguese pro-life group asked lawmakers to prosecute her for promoting illegal abortions.

However, WOW said in a statement that, "the Portuguese government has not given any official reaction whether it will start an investigation."

"Rebecca Gomperts has not been notified officially from this accusation and she has not been interrogated," the pro-abortion group said.

WOW claims "hundreds" of Portuguese women have contacted the abortion group seeking more information on using the ulcer drug to produce an abortion.

Searle, the company that manufactures the misoprostol ulcer drug, has written letters to doctors in the United States saying the drug should not be used as an abortion agent because it is harmful to women.

Women in California and Sweden have died in the last year as a result of using the RU 486 abortion pill.