Abortion ship banned from international ops
13 July 2004 , AMSTERDAM − The Dutch abortion ship may no longer sail to foreign countries offering women the opportunity to terminate unwanted pregnancies, Health State Secretary Clemence Ross said on Tuesday.
13 July 2004
AMSTERDAM − The Dutch abortion ship may no longer sail to foreign countries offering women the opportunity to terminate unwanted pregnancies, Health State Secretary Clemence Ross said on Tuesday.
Instead, the Women on Waves organisation that operates the ship may only operate within a radius of 25km from the Slotervaart Hospital in Amsterdam, newspaper De Volkskrant reported.
Junior minister Ross informed the Parliament by letter about her decision on Tuesday, responding to concerns from the Christian Democrat CDA and two smaller Christian parties, the SGP and ChristenUnie.
The decision was also a response to a ruling handed down by Amsterdam Court last month that stated the Health Ministry had insufficiently justified its refusal to issue Women on Waves with a permit to carry out abortions.
Ross said that the group had gained permission to perform abortions with the use of an abortion pill, but may not use other methods to terminate pregnancies. She does not intend to change her policy on that matter.
The abortion ship has in the past sailed to Ireland and Poland, where legislation prevents women from readily undergoing an abortion.
The idea was to take women on board while harboured and sail out to international waters, where doctors could operate under Dutch law and offer women the opportunity of aborting their pregnancy. No abortions were carried out when the ship visited Ireland.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news