North Dakota’s only clinic that performs abortions is in the middle of a battle over allegedly lapsed medical licensing for one or two of it’s doctors. And as usual, the size of the scandal depends on who is talking.
Via the Fargo In-Forum:
Fargo police are withholding details of their investigative findings into a Red River Women’s Clinic doctor with an expired license, saying it will be up to Birch Burdick to determine whether to file criminal charges.
Burdick, the Cass County state’s attorney, plans to review police reports, now complete, after officers inquired about Dr. Tami Lynn Holst Thorndike, a physician at the clinic whose North Dakota medical license expired June 30.
Like This Story?
Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.
More than two dozen calls from the public were placed to police once it became known Thorndike’s license expired.
The downtown Fargo clinic is the only one in North Dakota that performs abortions. State law requires abortions be performed by a licensed physician, and failure to comply with the statute is a misdemeanor or felony.
Thorndike has active medical licenses in her resident state, Colorado, and in South Dakota.
The investigation isn’t considered complete because it hasn’t been reviewed by prosecutors, and Police Chief Keith Ternes wouldn’t say late last week whether officers determined if Thorndike performed abortions in North Dakota after her license expired.
“We’re ready to forward our report to the state’s attorney’s office for review,” said Ternes, adding that the investigation was prompted last week when “a citizen brought it to our attention.”
Tammi Kromenaker, director of the Red River Women’s Clinic, would not disclose whether Thorndike performed abortions at the clinic after her license expired. Thorndike practices at the clinic six times a year and is not scheduled to return this year, Kromenaker said.
According to the Bismark Tribune, when medical lapses like these happen, the typical reaction is to get the licensing up to date, and possibly add a penalty to the proceedings.
But of course, this is North Dakota, the battleground for the Right to Life movement, and there is no calling them off if they smell even the slightest trace of blood in the water. According to multiple reports, news of the license issue spread quickly via anti-choice protestor email groups, which resulted in dozens of calls to the police.
Tammi Kromenaker, the director of the Red River abortion center, the only one in the state, tried to dismiss any concern and told the Bismarck Tribune it was merely an “administrative oversight.”
“This is a paperwork matter and not a reflection of her abilities or competency as a physician,” Kromenaker said. “She has never had a black mark on her record.
“I expect to have full resolution with no problem,” she said.
Still, pro-life advocates alerted state and local officials after an email bounced around local circles asking people to speak up once the information became known about the expired medical license. Local police received two dozen calls about the license.
And not to be outdone, Operation Rescue jumped on the chance to both file their own complaints, as well as conduct a “sting” on the clinic.
Operation Rescue received a tip that abortionists Lori Lynn Thorndike of Colorado and Miriam McCreary of Minnesota allowed their North Dakota Medical licenses to lapse on June 30, 2010. Operation Rescue immediately began to investigate.An OR staffer posing as a potential abortion customer placed a phone call to RRWC on Friday, November 5, 2010. The caller specifically asked to be seen by “Dr. Thorndike.”“A friend of mine told me though about Dr. Thorndike. Said she was real helpful, so I was wondering if I could get her,” said the caller.The RRWC receptionist responded, “Okay, sure. Let me just put you on hold here. I’m gonna see what days we have available, and I’ll be right back.”On Friday, the North Dakota Board of Medical Examiners (NDBME) web site showed that Thorndike’s and McCreary’s medical licenses were on “Inactive – Expired” status. By Monday, record of Thorndike’s license had been removed.…Operation Rescue has since filed a complaint against Thorndike and included a request to investigate the “emergency situation” that took place at RRWC on Friday afternoon. A copy of the phone call documenting the emergency was submitted as evidence.According to the receptionist, the undercover caller was told that there was an “emergency situation” that involved a woman who was sick and vomiting. The receptionist added that it was a “staff member” but that seemed suspicious in the context of the call. Operation Rescue believes the sick woman was more likely a patient suffering an abortion complication.In a follow up call to the clinic about two hours later, another clinic worker answered the phone and told Operation Rescue’s undercover investigator, who was still posing as an abortion patient, that the receptionist she had been speaking to earlier was not at the clinic. Calls to the county emergency communications department and a local ambulance company showed that an ambulance was not involved.“We have reason to believe that the sick woman was transported to emergency care via personal vehicle so as not to call attention to the medical emergency,” said Operation Rescue spokesperson Cheryl Sullenger.“There is a real possibility that unlicensed abortionists may have botched an abortion and that the woman was placed in further jeopardy by clinic staff not calling an ambulance. If true, that means that the Red River Women’s Clinic poses an immediate danger to the public and should be closed on an emergency basis pending further investigation.”
How’s that for detailed, evidence based, investigative work? I highly recommend listening to their “phone call clips,” that “prove” the story.
Obviously, finding a way to shut down the only clinic in a state would be a huge coup for the anti-choice movement. The Red River Clinic was under a constant barrage of protest for the last month as a top target in the “40 Days” anti-choice demonstration.
But rallying around a minor case of administrative oversight? That’s pretty desperate, even for the anti-choice movement.
November 9, 2010
- Health Reform Updates: Biotech Grants, Privacy Issues And Birth Control Coverage – Medical News Today (press release)
- Fertility Awareness and Infertility Prevention: Brenda Strong & the American … – PR Newswire (press release)
- Cecile Richards and Bill McKibben Announced as Recipients of the 2010 Puffin … – Common Dreams (press release)
- Unprotected Sex in Teens – WebMD
- Revenge of the Culture Wars – American Spectator
- Population explosion looms in PH, says official – Inquirer.net
- ‘Informed Consent’ Abortion Laws Scientifically Flawed, Washington Post … – Medical News Today (press release)
- Prolife group to hold anti-RH vigil November 20 – GMANews.TV
- Bush turned against abortion after mum showed him ‘dead foetus’ – Sify
- Condom avoidance not a motivation for circumcision among blacks and coloured … – Aidsmap
- Heterosexual HIV spread in China ‘aggravated by unprotected sex, drugs’ – Sify
- Cost Major Obstacle to Reducing Maternal Mortality – Inter Press Service
- Don’t be foolish – Foster’s Daily Democrat
- AT A GLANCE: HIV testing targets young people – Dallas Morning News
- CAPITAL CULTURE: Got hankies? Next speaker’s weepy – The Associated Press
- Cervical Cancer Screening Rates Highest In Nottingham – Guide2Nottingham
- Medicaid cuts are a low blow – The Spokesman Review
- Inquirer Editorial: Targeting judges – Philadelphia Inquirer
- Feminism includes more than most realize – UT Daily Beacon
- NJ Democrats renew effort to restore funding for family-planning centers – Philadelphia Inquirer
- Citywide Smoking Ban Contributes to Significant Decrease in Maternal Smoking … – Newswise (press release)
- Teens Waiting Longer for Sex, But Still Taking Risks: Analysis – BusinessWeek
November 8, 2010
- Cancer vaccine kills genital warts – ABC Online
- Planned Parenthood Provides Resources for Women at Odds – The Bell Ringer
- Kenya to launch New Campaign to Reduce Maternal Mortality – Africa Science News Service
- Conflict brewing over Scott’s agenda in Legislature – MiamiHerald.com
- Paying For Birth Control – KOKI FOX 23
- Local Pastor Convicted Of Stalking Doctor Who Performs Abortions – WSOC Charlotte
- Trauma turned Dubya against abortion – Daily Mail
- Women voters shifted Republican in midterm election – Los Angeles Times
- ‘Equal reduction’ hope for cervical cancer – Sydney Morning Herald
- Bush’s Opposition To Abortion Grew After Mother Showed Him Dead Fetus In A Jar – Huffington Post
- If I were Pat Toomey, I would address health care and human rights – The Upshot
- NJ Dems again try to restore family planning money – Asbury Park Press
- Abortion faceoff . . . on Twitter – Toronto Star
- Blowjobs, Sex, and Teens: Relax, it’s a Scientific Study – SF Weekly (blog)
- Gay Activist Promotes Gay ‘Marriage’ at Ontario Catholic College – Lifesite
- Catholic policy agenda unchanged by election results, panelists say – U.S. Catholic magazine
- Study: Girls take more chances during first sex – CNN (blog)
- ‘Obstetric Violence’ Should Be Stopped Everywhere – The Stir (blog)
- Medicaid is a big black hole that will suck in Rick Scott – Orlando Sentinel
- University of San Francisco Honors Catholic Enabler of Pro-Abortion ObamaCare – LifeNews.com
- Researcher Who Linked Fetal Nutrition to Adult Disease Honored by March of Dimes – PR Newswire (press release)
- GMA calls for improvement in Maternal Health Care – Ghana News Agency
- When Bush’s mother showed him her miscarriage – Salon
- Pope Benedict Denounces Abortion, Gay Marriage, and Secularization – Ms. Magazine
- New Lines of Attack in HIV Prevention – New York Times
- Universal access to contraceptives protects women – Daily Aztec
- George W Bush became opposed to abortion when mother showed him dead foetus in jar – Telegraph.co.uk
- Kamala Harris-Steve Cooley race could affect Prop. 8 – San Francisco Chronicle (blog)
- ‘Emergency Situation,’ Illegal Abortionists Uncovered at Only North Dakota … – Christian News Wire (press release)
- Pope, in Spain, denounces gay marriage, abortion – NewsOK.com
- Parents get blame for ‘immoral’ solons – Inquirer.net
- Gonorrhea Drifting Toward Cephalosporin Resistance – Skin and Allergy News Digital Network
- Tanzania Uses Wall Murals For Sex Education (PHOTOS) – Huffington Post
- Breast-Feeding vs Other Feeding Methods May Not Affect Maternal Sleep – Medscape
- Birth Control: “Preventive” Health Care or Not? – Tucson Citizen
- Abstinence ed. sometimes works – Charlottesville Daily Progress
- Assessing the 2010 elections – Regis Highlander
- Practitioner May Have Done Abortions in North Dakota With Invalid License – LifeNews.com
- Abortion made a difference to women voters – Colorado Springs Independent (blog)
- Medical Costs and Benefits: Who Decides? – Reason Online (blog)
- Overpopulation: Fight for survival – Inquirer.net
- UNHCR and partners tackle sexual violence in southern Colombia – UNHCR (press release)
- 8 Ways the Election Will Change Women’s Health & Reproductive Rights – The Stir (blog)
- Berkeley native tackles circumcision in novel – Berkeleyside
- It’s Not Your Father’s Democratic Party – The New American
- As the Breast Cancer Awareness Month ends, a reminder on the risk factors – The Hindu
- The GOP Is on Probation – Big Government
- Nation making good progress towards reducing maternal mortality rate, HIV/AIDS … – Walta Information Center (blog)
- PM reminds pope Spain is secular – Capital FM
- Contraception Linked to High Abortion Rate – TopNews United Kingdom
- Welsh Government Sets Out to Reduce Teenage Pregnancy – TopNews United Kingdom
- Program gets pregnant women, children to medical appointments – Journal Times
- SBA List ‘Stop Abortion Funding’ Campaign Calls for End of Federal Funding of … – DFW Catholic
- Fargo abortion clinic doctor subject of probe – KCAU