La. lawmaker reacts to proposal for abortion clinic in Gulf of Mexico

While the legal issues play out in court, pro-choice advocates are exploring some out-of-the-box options to allow abortion access to continue.
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 5:21 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 12, 2022 at 6:00 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Dr. Meg Autry at the University of California San Francisco said she has partnered with a non-profit organization to raise money for an abortion clinic to be placed on a boat out in the Gulf of Mexico that would dock at different southern ports. This would put the clinic out of reach of any trigger laws southern states have enacted since it is considered federal property.

State Representative Mandie Landry, a Democrat from New Orleans, supports the idea.

“I think it’s a great idea and it’s an idea I’ve been hearing about for a while now. But, I think the issue needs a lot more study. Fortunately, we have a lot of maritime lawyers in Louisiana and there are a lot of federal lawyers who can weigh in on this to see what’s feasible, and how it would work. So, I think as long as it’s cleared by a team of attorneys, it’s a really good idea,” said Rep. Landry.

Should the plan fall short of success, Representative Landry said other options of using federal land are being explored.

“There’s actually been discussion about doing this at the VA in New Orleans. I don’t know where those talks are, but the idea is the same because the VA is federal property, that Louisiana law on abortion would not apply,” Rep. Landry explained.

Even with that idea, questions around what that could mean for Louisiana licensed doctors to linger. Today while on a call with U.S. Senator and a potential candidate for governor in 2023, Bill Cassidy, he expressed frustration with NOPD for saying they will not enforce the trigger law while it is in effect.

“We are a nation of laws. It was passed by bipartisan support in La. and signed by a Democratic governor. We don’t get to choose which laws we want to enforce,” said Sen. Cassidy.

For the time being, the idea of a clinic in the Gulf of Mexico just remains a proposal, and we have yet to see any official plans.

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