North Dakota Medical Board Secretly Reinstates Abortion Practitioner’s License

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 11, 2010   |   5:01PM   |   Fargo, ND

A pro-life group following the cases of two abortion practitioners in North Dakota who allowed their medical licenses to lapse  is accusing the state medial board of its own malpractice.

Operation Rescue officials say they have obtained an email showing the North Dakota State Board of Medical Examiners (NDBME) notified the Red River Women’s Clinic, the only abortion business in North Dakota, that the license of abortion practitioner Lori Lynn Holst Thorndike has been restored.

The email reportedly says the license is currently in “Active-Unconditioned” status in spite of her apparently doing abortions illegally without a medical license since June 30, 2010.

This news particularly shocked pro-life activists at Operation Rescue and local pro-life advocates because the medical board has indicated in press statements that a decision about Thorndike’s license would not be made until a meeting of the board on November 19. The NDBME has attempted to downplay Thorndike’s lack of active licensure by indicating that it was an “administrative oversight” in comments to North Dakota media outlets.

“It’s unbelievable that the Board would decide to overlook clear criminal activity and make a back-room deal to restore Thorndike’s license while leading pro-life supporters to believe that they are still looking into the matter,” Operation Rescue president Troy Newman told “If that’s true, that’s a dishonest and unethical way to deal with the concerned public.”

Tammi Kromenaker, Director of the Red River Women’s Clinic, expressed relief at the news in an email to supporters of the abortion business that OR obtained.

Kromenaker said abortion backers should “keep it hush hush” until after the NDMBE meeting scheduled for November 19th and, referring to the license reinstatement, wrote, “Whew!…This pretty much made my month [two smile face icons]. We are pretty happy around here & doing some happy dances.”

Kromenaker included an attachment from the NDBME web site showing Thorndike’s newly restored license status.

But OR says North Dakota law (14-02.1-04) is specific that only licensed physicians may legally do abortions. It is a Class B Felony to commit abortions without a license in that state and pointed out that NDBME Executive Secretary Duane Houdek admits that Thorndike operated without a valid medical license. “It could be that she practiced once or twice,” Houdek told the local newspaper on October 30.

The NDBME web site had showed that Thorndike’s license status was “Inactive – Expired.” Then yesterday, a week and a half before NDBME officials announced they would make a decision, Thorndike’s license now appears in good standing, the pro-life group indicates.

“While the Board may be trying to sweep this illegal abortion scandal under the rug, there can be no doubt that crimes have been committed. The Attorney General still has yet to decide if criminal charges should be filed,” said Newman. “It is time for the public to let the Board know that their protection of illegal abortion activity is unconscionable and to remind the Attorney General that it is his duty to enforce North Dakota laws.”

Thorndike is not the only abortion practitioner at Red River to have an expired medical license.

Abortion practitioner Miriam McCreary of Minnesota allowed her medical license to lapse on the same date.

“However, the matter of McCreary’s expired license has not been in the news and there seems to be no attempt to follow up on the possibility that she may have performed illegal abortions over the last four months,” Operation Rescue complained.

The pro-life group also engaged in undercover phone calls showing potential problems associated with illegal or botched abortions.