North Dakota Lawmakers Oppose Requiring Abortion Malpractice Insurance

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 12, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

North Dakota Lawmakers Oppose Requiring Abortion Malpractice Insurance Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 12, 2005

Bismarck, ND ( — North Dakota lawmakers have defeated a bill that would have required abortion facilities to carry medical malpractice liability insurance. The bill was inspired by news last summer that the state’s lone abortion facility purchased malpractice coverage from an unlicensed company that has been told to stop doing business in several states.

Rep. Sally Sandvig, a Fargo Democrat, said during the debate on the bill that the House Human Services Committee found that other similar medical facilities are not required to have such insurance.

House members voted 73-14 to defeat the bill, HB 1487, which was sponsored by Rep. Jim Kerzman, a Mott Demcorat.

In August, the Red River Women’s Clinic abortion business was told to release its medical malpractice insurance records to the state after it was found that the facility had contracted with a bogus Bermuda-based insurance company.

The abortion business has been accused of putting women at risk because it can’t pay claims when a woman suffers a botched abortion.

North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jim Poolman says he needs the records to be able to permanently shut down the Bermuda company’s business in the state.

Because the Red River Women’s Clinic abortion facility wasn’t complying with the records request, Poolman obtained a subpoena for the records.

The subpoena ordered the abortion business to relinquish their policy information, proof of premiums paid, and other related records.

Red River director Jane Bovard had said that her abortion business has malpractice insurance through Bermuda-based Professional Liability Insurance Co. Ltd (PLIC).

However, the company was told to quit doing business in the state of Washington because it is considered an insurance scam selling false insurance policies. Other states, including Florida, Alabama, Illinois Mississippi, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Texas have prohibited PLIC form operating there.

Pro-life advocates in other states are concerned because other abortion businesses have purchased malpractice insurance from PLIC.