Part 3: The Red River Women’s Clinic Battles On

One of the dozens of letters tacked on a wall at the Red River Women’s Clinic

Part 1: Exploring the Concept of Full-Spectrum Doula Support Around North Dakota’s Only Abortion Clinic

Part 2: Conversations with Fargo Area Pro-Choice Doulas

By Vanessa Norton, BADP Volunteer

Lucy and I discovered that a significant degree of full-spectrum doula care was happening in Fargo, as evidenced by several doulas participating in access to abortion care, as well as the Red River Women’s Clinic’s brand of doula-esque support. Although, many doulas expressed some reticence about “coming out” as pro-choice. We wondered, given the fragile legal status of abortion in North Dakota, and the ambivalence on the part of some doulas about being publicly identified as full-spectrum, what the effect of a full-spectrum doula organization would be. Especially in the case of the latter concern, would identification cause too much of a riff in the doula community?

No one we spoke with seemed to think there was much chance of a full-spectrum doula organization appearing anytime soon.


Given the tiring and expensive legal battles RRWC has been forced into by the state of North Dakota, one might think that the clinic would consider a half-mile move across the Red River, to Minnesota.

“No way,” Clinic Director Tammi Kronemaker said. “That would be giving in and we’re not going to. Women in North Dakota do not have fewer rights than women in other states.” 

Here is an update on the legal battle for abortion care in North Dakota:

On December 11, North Dakota Supreme Court heard arguments on whether medication abortions could be allowed in the state. The ND law banning medication abortions is grounded on the idea that any drug used for abortions must, according to the law, “meet the protocol tested and authorized by the FDA.”

Misoprostol, one of the drugs used in medication abortions, is approved to help in the prevention of gastric ulcers, not to induce abortion.

(Misoprostol is routinely used in hospitals to induce labor, too. Yet, this unauthorized use seems to be OK with the state.)

The ND State Supreme Court has not issued a verdict on the law banning medication abortions. The four other laws restricting abortion, including the 6-week ban (or fetal heartbeat), are still in the court. 

You can support the Red River Women’s Clinic by first liking them on Facebook. Visit their website for ways to donate to their legal defense fund, and WIN (Women In Need) fund, which helps patients pay for abortions.

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