Chicago Journal of International Law

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Women on Waves is a Dutch nonprofit that seeks to provide women with safe abortion services and health information, as well as to raise public awareness of countries with restrictive abortion laws. One of the means through which the group achieves these goals is its ship campaigns, in which Women on Waves sails a ship to the harbor of a country with restrictive laws, and then brings local women out to international waters to give them medical abortion pills. In 2017, Guatemala expelled the group’s ship from its dock before it had the chance to fulfill its mission, claiming that Women on Waves represented a threat to public order and security. This Comment examines possible legal actions that Women on Waves and/or Guatemalan women could pursue against Guatemala following this incident, including claims based on violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and/or the American Convention on Human Rights, as well as the right to innocent passage in the law of the sea.

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