A Dakotas-based health care system has granted hospital-admitting privileges to doctors at North Dakota's sole abortion provider, which would bring the Fargo clinic into compliance with a new state law.
In a statement Thursday to The Associated Press, Sanford Health said physicians at the Red River Women's Clinic have been credentialed at its hospital in Fargo.
...Sanford's statement said its approval of admitting privileges is "based on objective criteria that is completely focused on protecting patients and providing safe patient care." The health system says the criteria "is applied in a neutral unbiased manner" [James MacPherson, "ND Abortion Docs Get Hospital Access," Associated Press, 2014.02.13].
Sanford Health reminds us that their complete focus on providing sage patient care does not include providing safe and legal abortion services:
A Sanford executive said in a statement that the decision follows a longstanding practice of “open privileges” at the hospital. Physicians, however, do not have privileges to perform routine abortions at Sanford.
“Sanford does not take a position on the issue and we do not perform abortion on demand,” Cindy Morrison, a Sanford executive vice president, said in the statement released Thursday [Patrick Springer, "Sanford Will Allow Abortion Clinic Doctors Admitting Privileges," WDAY News, 2014.02.14].
Not performing abortion on demand is taking a position on the issue. Refusing to offer that service forces women to seek this safe and legal procedure at smaller facilities that will not be as fully equipped to deal with medical complications that may arise from this procedure (as they can from any medical procedure) or to address other health problems that may present themselves when women come for reproductive advice and services.
If Sanford is serious about offering women comprehensive health protection, Sanford should take the logical step of allowing its doctors (the best in Fargo and Sioux Falls, I'm sure Sanford will tell you) to offer North and South Dakota women abortions on site.