Washington, D.C.- Florida Representative Gregory Steube (R) has cosponsored a bill that would prohibit offshore abortions.
Introduced by Texas Representative Randy Weber (TX-14), the Ban Offshore Abortion Tourism (BOAT) Act seeks to halt operations circumventing state abortion restrictions.
Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v Jackson re-delegated state governments with the authority to freely regulate abortions, some states have implemented restrictions on the practice.
However, attempts to circumvent state restrictions on abortions have spurred conservatives to action. Reports claim “abortion boats” are being used on coastal states with abortion restrictions to travel into federal waters exempt from state laws and execute abortions there.
"Abortion boats should never float in federal waters. These offshore “clinics” exploit a legal loophole by performing abortions in maritime jurisdiction to evade state laws and endanger both women and the unborn," said Rep. Weber.
Abortion boats should never float in federal waters. That is why I introduced a bill banning offshore abortions. This practice is morally and ethically reprehensible.https://t.co/AZIgbDrTJK
— Randy Weber (@TXRandy14) August 29, 2023
PRROWESS, an “abortion boat” initiative, is currently fundraising and could soon be navigating across Florida’s coasts. The company self-describes as a “floating health clinic” offering contraception and surgical abortion.
"Our goal is to be operating in the Gulf of Mexico for approximately three weeks out of each month, with flexibility built in depending on demand, weather conditions, and vessel maintenance," the site explains.
PRROWESS unabashedly states it will operate in federal waters to give individuals the ability to obtain what would otherwise be an illegal abortion in their home state.
It is currently unclear when PRROWESS will begin to operate. If the Ban Offshore Abortion Tourism (BOAT) Act is passed, PRROWESS may be a ship that will never sail.