ND lawmakers mull 'fetal heartbeat' abortion bill

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 30, 2013 at 7:32 pm •  Published: January 30, 2013
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Kromenaker said all the measures are aimed at shuttering her clinic, the only such facility in the state.

"It's definitely an attempt to put a total ban on abortion in North Dakota," Kromenaker told The Associated Press.

The Fargo clinic's three doctors perform about 25 abortions weekly, Kromenaker said. Sixty percent of the clinic's patients "are already mothers with at least one child at home," she said.

Republican Sen. Spencer Berry, a Fargo physician, introduced a Senate bill Tuesday that would require a doctor performing abortions to be an OB-GYN with hospital admitting privileges.

"This provision would ensure the ability of the physician performing the abortion to follow a patent to the hospital emergency room or operating room and admit and care for the patient as necessary should any complications arise," he told fellow members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "The credentialing process of the hospital would assure that only qualified physicians are providing abortion services in our state."

Less than 1 percent of surgical abortion patients experience a "major complication," Kromenaker said.

"Having an abortion is safer than receiving a penicillin shot," she told Senate lawmakers.

"This requirement would improperly give the hospitals in North Dakota the power to decide whether abortion should be available in this state," Kromenaker said. "That is not fair to women who need these services and who have a constitutional right to access them, and it's not fair to hospitals, which are essentially being drafted by the legislature in the hopes that they will act to ban abortion."

The Senate committee took no action on the bill Tuesday.

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