Dutch Abortion Boat Gets Restrictions Lifted, Plans to Sail to Africa, Asia

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 23, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Dutch Abortion Boat Gets Restrictions Lifted, Plans to Sail to Africa, Asia Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 23
, 2007

Amsterdam, Netherlands (LifeNews.com) — The Dutch abortion boat is planning to set sail again, this time to target nations in Africa and Asia as well as Europe. The converted tugboat is sponsored by the pro-abortion group Women on Waves and has already visited Ireland, Poland and Portugal in its effort to promote abortion in countries that protect the right to life.

The abortion ship’s voyage was made possible when Netherlands state secretary for public health Jet Bussemaker granted the pro-abortion group a permit that allows it to operate a medical facility on board a ship in international waters.

After its last voyage in 2004, the abortion ship had been restricted to only operating near a hospital in Amsterdam in case women were injured by the abortion.

But, SGP leader Bas van der Vlies said approving the permit is creating a scandal where Holland is seen as thumbing its nose at nations across the globe that have laws prohibiting abortions and that WOW plans to target on the cruise.

"It really is crazy that a cabinet with (Christian democrat) CDA and ChristenUnie has taken a worse decision than the previous government, which had D66 in it," Van der Vlies said.

Bussemaker’s predecessor, Clémence Ross of the CDA party, put the Amsterdam hospital restriction in place.

However, Rebecca Gomperts, the head of the pro-abortion group behind the boat, said she was disappointed that the permit restricted the group to doing abortions at a maximum of seven weeks into the pregnancy and to use only the dangerous abortion drug RU 486.

The group plans to go to court to lengthen the permit to be allowed to do abortions up to 12 weeks and to do surgical abortions.

The abortion boat is already drawing criticism from African leaders, where the Saudi Arabia Association of Senior Clerics member Sheikh Abdullah Al-Mani said that abortion takes human life and should not be promoted.

He said that Muslim clerics from nearly all schools of thought agree that abortion is forbidden. He added that according to some clerics, abortion is murder and is punishable as such.

The abortion ship visited Ireland in 2001, Poland in 2003 and Portugal in 2004, and was met by pro-life protests at each nation. Very few women went on board the vessel.

The pro-abortion group typically anchors the boat in international waters, where the local nation’s laws don’t apply. There, abortion activists are free to do abortions, give women the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug or hand out the morning after pill.

Although the abortion ship failed to distribute any abortion drugs to Portuguese women, 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.

Searle, the company that manufactures the misoprostol ulcer drug, has written a nationwide letter to doctors in the United States, in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration, saying the pills are not safe to be used in an abortion.

On their web site, Women on Waves encouraged women to lie about their medical condition, making it appear they needed the drug for stomach pain.

The pro-abortion group also admitted that using the drug as an abortion agent is dangerous, that it could cause women to require hospitalization for excessive bleeding, and that the makeshift abortion drug would fail at least 10 percent of the time.