What I envisioned was a smaller boat with less attractive crew trailing discreetly in the Love Boat's wake, ready to clean up its little mistakes. But the reality is much more awesome:
A Dutch “abortion boat” has set sail for Morocco, its first trip to a Muslim country, to provide abortions to women who are exposed to grave health risks if treated domestically, its organiser said on Monday.
“The ship is on its way. We can’t yet disclose the place and time of arrival… We expect it to stay for up to a week.” Rebecca Gomperts, the founder of the Dutch non-profit organisation Women on Waves, told AFP by phone.
The group says that, according to figures published by the Moroccan government, between 600 and 800 abortions take place every day in the north African kingdom, where the procedure is illegal and taboo.
The boat is part of the Dutch-founded nonprofit Women on Waves, and it travels all around the world, dropping anchor (by invitation) to provide women with safe access to abortions. When pressed about setting sail to a devoutly Muslim country while anti-Western sentiments are still running high, founder Rebecca Gomperts smartly replied: “I understand that (the visit) is seen as a provocation by some religious groups. But this is about women’s health. It has nothing to do with religion.”