North Dakota Doesn’t Charge Unlicensed Abortion Practitioners

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 16, 2010   |   4:43PM   |   Bismarck, ND

North Dakota officials will not charge a pair of unlicensed abortion practitioners who appear to have done abortions in the state well after their medical licenses expired over the summer.

As has reported, abortion practitioners Lori Lynn Holst Thorndike of Colorado and Miriam McCreary of Minnesota allowed their state -issued medical licenses to lapse on June 30, 2010.

The North Dakota State Board of Medical Examiners (NDBME) notified the Red River Women’s Clinic, the only abortion business in North Dakota, that it has restored Thorndike’s license. It notified the abortion center in an email a pro-life group obtained that caused it to come under fire.

Now, State’s Attorney Birch Burdick has announced he will not file criminal charges against Thorndike for the expired license or the unlicensed abortions she did.

He repeated the phrase of Tammi Kromenaker, Director of the Red River Women’s Clinic, who said letting the medical license expire constituted “an administrative oversight” and he noted she had active medical licenses in Colorado and South Dakota at the time of the unlicensed abortions.

But Rescue spokesperson Cheryl Sullenger told Thorndike should have been charged.

“North Dakota laws are very explicit,” she said. “It is a Class B Felony to commit abortions in that state without a valid North Dakota medical license. Burdick has decided all on his own that the laws of North Dakota that were enacted for the protection of vulnerable women should not be enforced.”

Sullenger also received a letter today from the North Dakota Board of Medical Examiners Executive Secretary Duane Houdek, dated November 9, indicating the agency wants more information for a potential investigation based on the complaint OR filed with it.

“At this point we are soliciting additional information regarding the complaint against Dr. Thorndike. All of this information will be forwarded to the members of one of the Board’s investigative panels who will decide whether formal proceedings should be brought against this physician,” the letter says.

The letter went on to say the matter would be discussed at a meeting of the Board scheduled for November 18.

However, the day after the letter was written, the Board unilaterally decided to reinstate Thorndike’s license without a hearing of the Board, and has since equivocated on whether or not the matter will be brought up at the referenced meetings, Sullenger noted.

“There is obviously some kind of monkey business at work in North Dakota. In this case, no one is saying that Thorndike did not break the law. They simply refuse to enforce the laws that were broken,” said Sullenger.

“When authorities give abortion abuses a wink and a nod, it only serves to reinforce the dangerous notion that is prevalent among abortionists that they are above the law,” said Sullenger.

She continued: “Allowing abortionists to break the law without consequences creates an atmosphere that opens the door to further abuses that eventually cost women their health and sometimes their lives. Burdick and Houdek will have a lot to answer for when – not if – their lack of good judgment comes back to haunt the women of North Dakota.”

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