North Dakota’s only abortion clinic is likely gearing up for the final day


FARGO, ND — North Dakota’s only abortion clinic is preparing for what could be its last day of performing procedures, with an induction ban set to take effect Thursday that will likely require patients to travel hundreds of miles to receive care while waiting for the clinic to move across the border to Minnesota.

Unless a judge intervenes, the Red River Women’s Clinic

will provide abortion services on Wednesday and then close. Owner Tammi Kromenaker is building a new clinic in Moorhead, Minnesota with the help of nearly $1 million raised through GoFundMe.

Kromenaker did not say when the new clinic will open and she did not respond to messages on Tuesday. Planned Parenthood said it could perform abortions at its own Moorhead facility to fill the void if needed, but it’s unclear if that will happen.

Once North Dakota’s ban goes into effect, the closest abortion clinics will be in Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota, about a four-hour drive from Fargo, and Billings, Montana, nearly four hours from the western border of North Dakota.

Destini Spaeth, the volunteer leader of an independent group that helps fund abortions in North Dakota, is exploring temporary solutions until the Moorhead Clinic opens. This could include help paying for trips to Minnesota and Montana.

“Having to cross state lines and be treated and talked about like a criminal in your home state and forced to travel elsewhere, pleading for care, desperate for care,” said Spaeth, a spokesperson for the North fund. Dakota Women In Need. “It must be so traumatic.”


Red River Women’s Clinic

Kristi Wolff, executive director of the North Dakota Women’s Network, said the women’s advocacy group always refers people to the Red River Women’s Clinic or to a doctor “if that’s what is needed.” Wolff said she’s fielded numerous calls from women showing “a lot of uncertainty, desperation and anger” about what lies ahead.

“If there’s no clinic operating in North Dakota, women will have to travel farther,” Wolff said. “To do that, they have to have the resources for adequate transportation, you know, money for gas, childcare, time off, they need all of those things. To have to do that , just accessing health care is unacceptable.”

The clinic is suing in state court to block the trigger law, which was passed years ago to take effect if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade establishing a right to abortion. The lawsuit argues that a ban would violate the state constitution. He also argues that Attorney General Drew Wrigley prematurely started the 30-day countdown for the law to come into force.

“I’m not holding my breath for an injunction,” Spaeth said. “I think we’re preparing for tomorrow to be the last clinic day in North Dakota for a while.”

The first abortion clinic in Fargo opened in 1981, in a two-story house that was over 70 years old. It was the site of intense protests in the early 1990s sparked by a nationwide group that locked in cars, trees, street signs and other objects. The clinic moved to its current location in downtown Fargo in 1998.

While the move to Moorhead will add a few miles to the Dakotas’ patients, it will also mean the weekly group of anti-abortion protesters won’t travel much further. Some of them called Wednesday’s scheduled Fargo finale bittersweet and said they would return to duty when the new clinic opens.

McKenzie McCoy, executive director of North Dakota Right To Life, said she’s “thrilled the clinic is closing,” but isn’t blind to the fact that the clinic is reopening a few miles away.

“So we’re going to continue to drive across Minnesota to love these women and show that, you know, we’re here for you no matter the decision, but there really are other solutions,” she said. .


Comments are closed.