Anti-abortion statute passes State Senate

Feb 8, 2013

The state Senate has passed a bill that supporters say will provide more protection for women who seek abortions – but opponents say it’s designed solely to close North Dakota’s lone abortion clinic.

The measure would require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges to local hospitals.

"We have a responsibility to the women of North Dakota to insure physicians providing abortion services in the state are qualified to perform the procedures," said Sen. Spencer Berry (R-Fargo), who is a physician. "We currently do not have a mechanism in place to do that. This legislation would create that mechanism."

But Sen.  Stan Lyson (R-Williston) says the bill has one purpose – and that is to close down the Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo. Lyson says it’s bad public policy.

"I don't like abortions. I think they're terrible," Lyson said on the Senate floor. "But I do believe decisions like that should be left up to the woman, her family and her God -- and not a group of people in the Legislature."

The bill will be now considered in the House.