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FARGO — The director of North Dakota’s only abortion clinic said she’s not ready to reveal the location of their new clinic across the river in Moorhead, in part because of “serious security problems”.
Tammi Kromenaker, director of the Red River Women’s Clinic currently in Fargo, told the Forum that the location may come out anyway before she is ready to make an announcement.
While continuing to operate the Fargo Clinic for the time being, staff are looking into needed renovations at the undisclosed Moorhead site. Having two mortgages and two sets of utilities, even for a short time, will be expensive, Kromenaker said Monday (June 27).
The clinic will get a huge boost in that effort thanks to a GoFundMe site, where donations have been pouring in since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade.
An original fundraising goal of $20,000 had to be continually adjusted upwards and now stands at $1 million.
More than $710,000 had been raised as of 6 p.m. Monday from donors in the Midwest and beyond, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii and New Jersey. , and other countries, including Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.
“We took out loans to be able to do this,” Kromenaker said of the clinic’s move. “Honestly, I didn’t know how we were going to achieve this until this GoFundMe happened.”
The largest donation to date was $32,000 made by an anonymous donor.
Another large donation of $5,000 came from Karen Stoker, ex-wife of Republican North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.
Work needed at the new Moorhead location includes replacing an outdated heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, and Kromenaker said it has already received bids for the work.
They will also need a security system with cameras and motion sensors, and will want to erect a fence around the space, she said.
A portion of the funds will be used to provide telehealth for medical abortion in Minnesota, which the clinic could not offer in North Dakota because telehealth delivery is specifically prohibited for abortion care in the state. .
Kromenaker said the GoFundMe site isn’t the only measure of relief they’re getting.
She answers calls and emails from people offering to transport patients from other parts of the state, offering hotel rooms to patients who need to travel, and offering to escort patients to the clinic.
“It’s such a relief and so encouraging that we’re getting this level of support,” Kromenaker said.
North Dakota has a “trigger” law, passed in 2007, that will eventually ban abortion in light of Friday’s court ruling.
To kick off the 30-day countdown to the ban, Attorney General Drew Wrigley must certify that the Supreme Court has authorized states to ban abortion. Wrigley told Forum News Service columnist Rob Port on Monday that he expected his decision within hours, not days, but that it would not be announced Monday.
Kromenaker said her goal for now is to make sure patients know they can still get an abortion at the downtown Fargo clinic until the ban goes into effect.
“We want to be careful and cautious about this for safety and security, but also so there is no confusion for our patients,” Kromenaker said.
She said that once the move is made, she expects Wednesdays will still be the day abortions are performed, as the clinic doctor and other staff, including nurses, phlebotomists , patient advocates and others are used to this schedule.