Dutch abortion boat loses court action
18 August 2004, AMSTERDAM — Dutch organisation Women on Waves has been refused permission to carry out abortions in international waters.
18 August 2004
AMSTERDAM — Dutch organisation Women on Waves has been refused permission to carry out abortions in international waters.
A court rejected its application on Wednesday to temporarily suspend a health ministry order which limits the organisation to carrying out abortions within 25km of Amsterdam hospital Slotervaartziekenhuis.
Wednesday's action was taken to allow the boat to sail at the end of August. The organisation's full challenge is still pending before the courts.
Women on Waves was set up to highlight the lack of — and in some cases the complete ban on — abortion services in other countries. The group's abortion boat has in the past made trips to Ireland and Poland.
The idea behind the boat is women can be taken into international waters for a termination outside the jurisdiction of the woman's country.
Despite causing a stir in the international media, no abortions were carried out when the boat visited Ireland.
Earlier this year health minister Clémence Ross said Dutch abortion law clearly stated terminations could only be carried out by clinics that cooperated with a hospital in the district.
The minister ruled the abortion boat could only operate off the Dutch coast and within a 25km radius of the Amsterdam hospital.
The court sided with the minister and said it was important a medical specialist was on hand in the event of complications. The judge decided the 25km limit imposed by Ross was legitimate.
The judge also noted the boat would sale regardless of his ruling because the Women on Waves staff also give family planning information.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Dutch news, abortion boat