North Dakota’s Only Abortion Clinic Fights To Stay Open

The Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo, North Dakota, provides the only remaining abortion service in the entire state. But it’s not alone in that distinction: South Dakota, Wyoming and Mississippi also have just a single abortion clinic for their citizens.

Now, North Dakota is taking it to the next level: state lawmakers have passed a series of new laws designed to put the clinic out of business. They are the toughest, most stringent abortion laws in the U.S.

The regulations include a straight “heartbeat ban” that would make abortion illegal at the point that an embryonic heart beat can be detected, which is typically around six weeks pregnancy or earlier via transvaginal ultrasound. Another restriction would ban abortions based on the gender of the fetus while yet another bans abortions based solely on genetic abnormalities.

A Frontal Assault On The U.S. Constitution

From The Daily Mail:

At six weeks, the ban would take effect before many women would know they were pregnant, said the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents North Dakota’s only clinic that provides abortions, the Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo.

‘The passage of this law is nothing short of a frontal assault on the U.S. Constitution, 40 years of Supreme Court precedent, and the health and fundamental rights of women,’ said Nancy Northup, the center’s president and CEO.

The state also passed new rules forcing doctors who perform abortions in the state to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.

Now the clinic is under siege daily, as it has become a target for anti-abortion protestors, who can often be found standing outside the building, harassing clinic patients.  As a result, the doors are kept locked and there are cameras in place to monitor the protestors.

Since I worked with pro-choice groups confronting Operation Rescue several years ago, I am very familiar with the tactics of the anti-abortion brigade. They favor holding pictures of fetuses, blown up to billboard size, in front of clinics where women come to get abortions. Then there are the signs asking questions like “What if Beethoven’s mother had had an abortion?” For people who dare to call themselves “pro-life,” they are remarkably cruel and insensitive.

But North Dakota Is Fighting Back

From The New York Times:

The running battle over the regulation of abortions entered a North Dakota courtroom on Wednesday, as the state’s sole abortion clinic sued to block a new law that it says could force it to shut down.

The law, requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, was promoted by anti-abortion legislators, who argued that it would mean better care for women who suffer medical emergencies.

The Red River Women’s Clinic, in Fargo, relies on doctors who are licensed in North Dakota but fly in from out of state to perform abortions. Its director said that in the rare event of serious complications, women would be rushed to a hospital for appropriate care whether or not the clinic doctor had admitting privileges.

“Its purpose is to shut down the clinic, the sole abortion facility in the state,” the suit alleges of the law, which is scheduled to take effect on Aug. 1.

The suit, filed in a state district court on behalf of the clinic by the Center for Reproductive Rights, says the law would pose an unconstitutional infringement on the right to abortion.

Is the anti-abortion movement winning in the U.S.? Take a look at this list.

The Worst State Laws

Alabama: A new law requires clinics to meet the same regulatory standards as outpatient surgical centres.
Arkansas: No abortion after 12 weeks.
North Dakota: A law banning abortion after detection of a foetal heartbeat, which generally occurs at six weeks, is currently being challenged in court.
Mississippi: A law forcing the state’s sole clinic to only use doctors with admitting privileges at local hospitals is now being challenged in court.
Texas: A bill allocates $4m to promoting alternatives to abortion while restricting funds for family planning groups.

It’s not a pretty picture, but the women of Fargo, North Dakota, are fighting back against this vicious campaign to take away their rights.

Care2 will keep you posted on the developments in North Dakota and other states.


Photo Credit: mdfriendofhillary


Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown4 years ago

Now personally I do not care what some "magic" book of mythology has to say about abortion, but since you brought up the bible I felt it was important to really discuss the issue.

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown4 years ago

God sometimes causes abortions by cursing unfaithful wives.

The priest shall say unto the woman, The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell. And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen. ...
And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people. And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed. -- Numbers 5:21-21, 27-28

God's law sometimes requires the execution (by burning to death) of pregnant women.

Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt. -- Genesis 38:24

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown4 years ago

God sometimes approves of killing fetuses.

And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? ... Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. -- Numbers 31:15-17
(Some of the non-virgin women must have been pregnant. They would have been killed along with their unborn fetuses.)

Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts. -- Hosea 9:14

Yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb. -- Hosea 9:16

Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up. -- Hosea 13:16

God sometimes kills newborn babies to punish their parents.

Because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. -- 2 Samuel 12:14

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown4 years ago

Ashely D. Well since you brought it up, let's see what the "bible" has to say about abortion.

Abortion is not murder. A fetus is not considered a human life.

If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life. -- Exodus 21:22-23

The Bible places no value on fetuses or infants less than one month old.

And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver. -- Leviticus 27:6

Fetuses and infants less than one month old are not considered persons.

Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them. And Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD. -- Numbers 3:15-16

Ashley D.
Ashley D.4 years ago

'You have knit me together in my mother's womb .. you saw my members (limbs, etc.) when they were as yet unformed .. I was wrought in the lowest parts of the earth (a mother's womb that ought to be the safest place on earth). I will praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made ..' (Psalm 139)

Is abortion not murder?

Linda McKellar
Past Member 4 years ago

@CYAN - "All questions I have been asked are irrelevant", etc. OH, REALLY? Bullshit! They seem only to be irrelevant when you can't answer them.
Also, Mary and I both accept your apology for being completely and irrefutably WRONG about the need for a court order to discontinue life support and the definition of death as declared by medicine parameters. Typically, you just gloss over the comments that prove you don't know what you're talking about.

Rainbow W.
.4 years ago

Cyan, “If a person becomes brain dead by an act of violence (murder) but kept alive by machines, the perp cannot be charged with murder.”

Once again wrong. See R v Malcherek (1981) 73 Cr App R 173. The defendant attacked a woman causing injuries that were so severe that the victim had to be placed on a life support machine. Doctors decided to switch off the machine after determining that the victim was "brain dead" and that there was no prospect of recovery. Half an hour later the victim was pronounced dead. The defendant was convicted of murder and appealed on the ground that the doctors had broken the chain of causation between the defendant's attack and the death of the victim by deliberately switching off the life support machine. The Court of Appeal held, dismissing the appeal, that the operating and substantial cause of death had been the original wounds inflicted by the defendant. The effect of the life support machine was merely to hold the effect of the injuries in suspension; as soon as the machine was switched off the original wounds continued to cause the death of the victim, even if death followed within seconds of the machine's disconnection.

This has been used as precedent to argue murder even when families kept the victim alive for years . “The legal def. of life (personhood) is heartbeat for braindead or PVS, for inheritance or murder. “ Wrong. A heartbeat can be sustained by machines, brain dead is the legal definition of “dead

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown4 years ago

Cyan said "Several Federal laws have been ruled unconstitutional, and Congress passed another and/or amended law to correct the deficiency."

Yes, Cyan, the Supreme Court has ruled laws unconstitutional and Congress has changed the laws to pass constitutional muster. That IS NOT Congress "overuling" the U.S. Supreme Court, it is Congress following the mandates of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Because, as I have stated, when the U.S. Supreme Court rules on an issue of Constitutional law it is the LAW OF THE LAND and remains so until and unless 1) the U.S. Supreme Court reverses its decision or 2) a constitutional amendmen is passed.

Remember those "civics" courses we were talking about, well you really should take a few.

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown4 years ago

Cyan - please stop trying to play 'lawyer" you are not qualified. I know you desparately "want" to believe certain things because they "fit" your right wing world views, so you desparately and patheticlly cry that "Supreme Court decisions are not the law of the land" or "Roe v. Wade was overreaching." It is pathetic.

Supreme Court decisions ARE the law of the land and can ONLY be changed by the U.S. Supreme Court themselves or a Constitutional Amendment, every first year law student knows these facts.

Oh, and Roe v. Wade IS THE LAW OF THE LAND, so just stop your whining!

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown4 years ago

Hey look guys, the anti-abortion zealot is advising abortion clinics on the way they need to do business. Now isn't that precious.