Sole Abortion Clinic in North Dakota Challenges Restrictive Law

Says new rules could force the place to close


The running battle over the regulation of abortions entered a North Dakota courtroom on Wednesday, as the state's sole abortion clinic sued to block a new law that it says could force it to shut down.

The law, requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, was promoted by anti-abortion legislators, who argued that it would mean better care for women who suffer medical emergencies.

The Red River Women's Clinic, in Fargo, relies on doctors who are licensed in North Dakota but fly in from out of state to perform abortions. Its director said that in the rare event of serious complications, women would be rushed to a hospital for appropriate care whether or not the clinic doctor had admitting privileges.