FARGO, N.D. — Nearly two dozen women get abortions on an average Wednesday at the lone North Dakota clinic that performs them, often spending scarce resources to travel long distances to the Fargo building, where volunteers escort them through a crowd of protesters lining the street outside.
The Red River Valley Women’s Clinic, which opened under another name in 1981, is the only place within 230 miles where abortions are performed legally – an estimated 1,200 a year. Now clinic officials fear they may need to go to court just to stay in business.
North Dakota appears ready to follow Mississippi’s lead in requiring that doctors who perform abortions have hospital-admitting privileges. Clinic director Tammi Kromenaker said the bill could cut services for the women it serves, about half of whom are estimated to be living below the poverty line.