North Dakota’s only abortion clinic plans to SKIRT state’s impending ban by moving across nearby river into Minnesota after Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade

  • The independently run Red River Women’s Clinic plans to relocate from Fargo, North Dakota, to the nearby Minnesota city of Moorhead
  • North Dakota’s trigger ban was certified by Attorney General Drew Wrigley on Tuesday, rendering abortions illegal in the state as of July 28
  • Director Tammi Kromenaker already has a new location ready for the clinic, and plans to have it up and running so there is no gap in services

The only abortion clinic in North Dakota plans to relocate to Minnesota once the GOP state makes abortions illegal on July 28.  

The independently run Red River Women’s Clinic will move just across the state line from Fargo into the neighboring city of Moorhead, where abortions are expected to remain legal.

North Dakota is one of thirteen states with laws – known as trigger bans – that will render abortions illegal now that Roe v. Wade is overturned. North Dakota attorney general Drew Wrigley certified the state’s ban today. 

Director Tammi Kromenaker already has a new location in place for the clinic, according to the Star Tribune. She plans to have it up and running in its new home by the time abortions become illegal in North Dakota so that women in the area will have no interruptions in clinic services.     

A protest outside the Red River Women’s Clinic in May. The clinic will be moving from Fargo, North Dakota, to Moorhead, Minnesota, where abortions are expected to remain illegal

Clinic director Tammi Kromenaker already has a new location for the clinic. She plans to have it open by the time abortions are made illegal in North Dakota so there is no gap in service to local women

Clinic director Tammi Kromenaker already has a new location for the clinic. She plans to have it open by the time abortions are made illegal in North Dakota so there is no gap in service to local women

‘The plan is to provide service as long as we legally can,’ Kromenaker told CNN.

On Tuesday, that timeframe became clear as Attorney General certified the law that will render abortions illegal in North Dakota just over thirty days from the overturning of Roe. 

The new ban will make it a felony to receive an abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. 

Despite those exceptions, there will be no abortion services in the state, and women will have to travel to receive treatment.  

Women could be sentenced to up to five years in prison and be fined $10,000 for receiving an abortion. 

Kromenaker told the Star Tribune how within 30 seconds of learning that Roe had been overturned, the phone rang at the clinic and a desperate young mother with an infant told how she had become pregnant again and wasn’t prepared for a second child.   

‘Here’s this group of people in Washington, D.C., along with this group of people in North Dakota who put the trigger ban in place, and they don’t know the reality of people’s lives who need this,’ said Kromenaker. 

‘We’re getting the most devastating news ever, and a person literally calls and says, ‘I need an abortion, I have a kid and can’t handle another one, I just moved here – do you guys do that there?’ I had to pull myself together and make her appointment.’

The Supreme Court released its decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 24. A trigger ban law in North Dakota will make abortions illegal in the state on July 28

The Supreme Court released its decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 24. A trigger ban law in North Dakota will make abortions illegal in the state on July 28

Protestors march in Los Angeles on June 24 after the supreme court released its decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

Protestors march in Los Angeles on June 24 after the supreme court released its decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

For nearly 25 years, the Red River clinic has been the only abortion provider in all of North Dakota.        

It also provides services for women nearby in South Dakota, and in Northwest Minnesota. 

The clinic was the site of protests for and against abortions in the weeks after the draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked in May. A photo of one protest shows a man carrying a sign reading ‘Babies are murdered here.’

Kromenaker said that she fears how anti-abortionists will act now that the supreme court has fallen their way. 

‘They’re feeling a sense of victory they’ve never felt before. They may feel emboldened. It’s not business as usual,’ she said. 

 She also expressed optimism that the supreme court decision will rally supporters of women’s abortion rights who previously hadn’t involved themselves.

‘I think in 10 years we’re going to turn this ship around. I have hope this will all be very different in 10 years, and we’ll have federal protections for abortion. But we need people’s help right now.’

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