FARGO, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota’s attorney general said Tuesday that the state’s sole abortion clinic will be forced to shut down at the end of July, at which time patients will likely head across the Red River to neighboring Moorhead, Minnesota.
Attorney General Drew Wrigley told The Associated Press that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last week that gives each state the right on whether to allow abortions means that the procedure will be outlawed in the state on July 28. He said he dropped off his certification letter at the secretary of state’s office Tuesday morning.
Wrigley said "there’s not any ambiguity" in the high court’s decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion and the Planned Parenthood v. Casey ruling that weakened Roe but said women still had the right to choose to have an abortion before viability.
Tammi Kromenaker, owner and operator of the Red River Women’s Clinic, plans to move the clinic from Fargo to Moorhead. A GoFundMe page started by a pro-choice group last week meant to help with the move had raised more than $760,000 as of Tuesday morning.
Asked Tuesday about whether the clinic would be open in Moorhead by July 28, Kromenaker said, "Until I speak with my attorneys, I cannot confirm anything." On Monday, she said that the fundraising effort is "breaking down so many barriers" that will allow the transition to Moorhead become a reality.
"It’s humbling. We’re grateful," Kromenaker said. "I think people feel powerless right now. Along with the GoFundMe we’ve had an inundation of people who want to escort and have offered all kinds of other resources. It has been an ongoing outpouring of tremendous support."
Planned Parenthood has said it would offer abortion services at its clinic in Moorhead if the Red River Women’s Clinic has not relocated by the time North Dakota’s ban takes effect.
The North Dakota Legislature passed a so-called trigger law in 2007 that makes abortion illegal in the state. It passed 68-24 in the House and 29-16 in the Senate and was signed into law by Republican Gov. John Hoeven. The list of 21 Democrats who approved it included a congressional candidate, two gubernatorial candidates, two lieutenant governor candidates, a state treasurer candidate and others who achieved leadership positions.