Texas Rep. Randy Weber (R) has introduced the BOAT Act. The bill, titled the Ban Offshore Abortion Tourism (BOAT) Act would prohibit abortions in maritime jurisdiction.
The topic of abortion has become a staple conversation in the 2024 election. Last week, when 8 Republican presidential candidates took to the stage to debate, they discussed the issue.
A week later, according to a press release from Weber’s office, he now wants to “hold accountable providers who knowingly endanger the life of an unborn child with fines and jail time.” Moreover, “women who sought their services could seek relief from the company in the appropriate federal district court.”
In a statement, Weber argued that “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,” he added, calling the practice “morally and ethically reprehensible.”
“As the Left pushes radical and unsafe workarounds, I will continue to fight for women’s safety and protect the sanctity of life,” Weber said, calling on lawmakers “to stand against such practices and provide proper legal protection for both the vulnerable women and the unborn.”
The legislation addresses a July 2022 incident wherein a New York Man called Michael Kimbro created an abortion clinic just 40 minutes off the shore of Galveston, Texas. The clinic, called “Abort Offshore,” would help transport women offshore to federal waters controlled by maritime jurisdiction, so they can bypass Texas state laws that ban abortions six weeks after conception.
The clinic charges cash payments between $1,500 and $2,000, and it is estimated that the clinic can perform about 24 abortions a day.
Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Republicans have been at the receiving end of scrutiny from Democrats, and the discussion has only made both sides of the aisle grow tenser.