by Steven Ertelt
August 24, 2004
Fargo, ND (LifeNews.com) — A North Dakota abortion business will comply with a subpoena issued by the state’s top insurance official and hand over its insurance policy records. The subpoena was issued when the Red River Women’s Clinic abortion facility wouldn’t divulge information about an apparently bogus malpractice insurance policy it purchased from an illegitimate Bermuda-based company.
Joe Turman, attorney for Red River, told Jim Poolman, the state’s Insurance Commissioner, that the abortion facility wants to first remove from confidential information from their files. After that, the records will be sent to state officials.
Poolman asked for the records as part of an investigation of Unimed, a Bermuda insurance company also known as Professional Liability Insurance Co. and other names. Several other states have already prevented the bogus company from doing business in their state and Poolman wants to add North Dakota to that list.
Poolman asked for a subpoena to obtain the records when Jane Bovard, the owner of the abortion business, refused to provide them.
"All we’re trying to do is help her make sure [Red River] is covered by legitimate malpractice insurance," Poolman told the Fargo Forum newspaper.
The investigation has set off a national scandal over whether other abortion businesses across the country have legitimate malpractice insurance.
During the investigation, Bovard, president of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, a trade group of abortion businesses, told Poolman’s office that many other abortion facilities have purchased insurance through Unimed.
If true, women in many states may not be able to obtain damages from the abortion facilities in situations where a botched abortion causes them injury or death.
Pro-life advocates in North Dakota are worried how women are affected by the situation.
"In light of this situation, we need to ask: What does the Red River Women’s Clinic have to hide from Insurance Commissioner Poolman," Stacey Pfliiger, director of North Dakota Right to Life, told LifeNews.com.
"Why has the malpractice insurance been bought from a company outside of the United States," Pfliiger asked.