Dutch Deny License for Abortions on Ship

Irish Official Calls Project a Publicity Stunt

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DUBLIN, Ireland, JUNE 15, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The pro-abortion Women on Waves Foundation has put off its plan to offer surgical abortions in international waters off Ireland, after the Dutch government denied it a health license for such practice.

The news arrived shortly after the Sea of Changes ship docked in Dublin´s port Thursday. The ship´s spokesman, Joke Van Krampen, said the Women on Waves Foundation hopes to get the permission soon, after a thorough health inspection. CNN reported that some organizers, in the meantime, said they would use the RU-486 pill to perform any abortions.

The Sea of Changes, a Dutch fishing trawler formerly named Aurora, was equipped by the foundation to carry out abortions in international waters, disregarding the legislation of countries like Ireland, which prohibit such a practice.

The ship has two Dutch doctors, a nurse and seven crew members. It is scheduled to be in Dublin for a week before going to Cork, in the south of Ireland.

Irish Health Minister Michael Martin labeled the incident a «publicity stunt,» and said the ship will have to comply with Irish laws while in Irish waters.

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