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March 14, 2014

BISMARCK, ND - Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem announced today that the State has agreed to the request from the Red River Women’s Clinic to dismiss its lawsuit challenging a 2013 law requiring physicians who perform abortions to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital.  The Clinic sued the State in Cass County District Court alleging that Senate Bill 2305, as passed by the 2013 North Dakota Legislature, violated the State’s Constitution. It claimed the physicians at the state’s only clinic providing abortions would not be able to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital. However, by December 2013, all of the Clinic’s physicians were able to comply with the requirements of the law by obtaining privileges at a local hospital. Because the grounds for suing the State no longer exist, that case is now moot.

The agreement requires the physicians currently performing abortions at the Clinic to maintain admitting privileges at a local hospital as long as the law remains in effect. The agreement also requires any additional physician, who in the future performs abortions at the Clinic, obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital that satisfy the requirements of Senate Bill 2305.

In the meantime, the litigation alleging the law regulating medication abortions violates the state constitution remains pending before the state Supreme Court. Oral arguments were heard in that case December 11, 2013, and a ruling is expected at a future time.

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