North Dakota and its only abortion clinic have resolved part of their dispute over the state’s new abortion law, meaning the facility will remain open.
At issue was the requirement that physicians performing abortions have hospital privileges. The state and clinic agreed that doctors at the Red River Women's Clinic would maintain such privileges.
The agreement was announced Friday by the state and the Center for Reproductive Rights, which assisted the clinic, located in Fargo. The stipulation ends a lawsuit over the requirement, which was included in the 2013 law and threatened to close the women’s health facility. The hospital privilege requirement has been pushed by abortion opponents who say it helps increase the quality of care women receive. Those supporting abortion rights say such laws are a way of restricting the availability of abortions, particularly in underserved rural areas, and that the privileges are unnecessary to ensure safety.
There have been battles over the requirement in Texas, where two more clinics closed this month primarily because of the privileges issue. Similar fights are brewing in other states, including Louisiana.