Physicians for North Dakota’s only abortion clinic have been granted admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, which means those providers can continue offering abortions in the state.
According to the Associated Press, Sanford Health, a Dakotas-based health-care system, granted the admitting privileges to the doctors of the Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo. The credentials bring the clinic into compliance with a new state law that requires doctors who perform abortions in the state to first obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic. The Center for Reproductive Rights sued on behalf of the clinic to block the law, arguing it was unconstitutional. Trial in the case was set to begin this week, but the court removed it from its calendar, as the parties reported they were close to settling the matter.
With the doctors at the Red River Women’s Clinic credentialed, the lawsuit challenging the North Dakota admitting privileges requirement looks to be that much closer to settlement. But the terms of any such settlement remain unclear. “Because negotiations with the state are ongoing, we cannot discuss the details of any potential settlement before it is finalized,” Autumn Katz, staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement.
North Dakota is not the only state fighting over the legality of hospital admitting privileges requirements. So far, federal courts have blocked similar laws in Mississippi, Alabama, and Wisconsin. A Texas admitting privileges law is currently in effect.
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