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Every child should be a wanted child

Fargo Last weekend marked the end of the "40 Days for Life" campaign that took place outside of the Red River Women's Clinic in Fargo. Throughout the campaign, volunteer escorts were available for women and their families to enter and exit the cl...

Fargo

Last weekend marked the end of the "40 Days for Life" campaign that took place outside of the Red River Women's Clinic in Fargo. Throughout the campaign, volunteer escorts were available for women and their families to enter and exit the clinic without harassment.

Our patients expressed their gratitude for the escorts. Escorts were physical proof that there are pro-choice voices in our community who were willing to put themselves on the frontline. We thank them all for their dedication and support.

During the 40 Days campaign, the fact that Red River Women's Clinic is on track to see a record number of patients this year became public knowledge. As the clinic director, and the one speaking out on this information, I have received many e-mails and letters admonishing me. People seem to think I was bragging, or that I am proud of the record number of patients we will see this year. The reality is, I am stating facts, facts that are difficult for people to hear.

Most people cannot believe that the director of an abortion clinic would be advocating for reducing the number of unplanned pregnancies, but I am. I believe that it is essential to women and families that pregnancies are planned and wanted.

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As a parent, I understand the incredible effort and dedication it takes to raise a child. We have the opportunity, and more importantly, the obligation to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies from occurring. Every child should be a wanted child.

There are a number of tactics that will work here in North Dakota and on a national level to reduce these numbers. First of all, we need to ensure that comprehensive sex education is a component in all sexuality education.

Second, we need to make birth control affordable and accessible. North Dakota needs to implement a "waiver" program similar to that of Minnesota and others. These programs allow states to expand coverage for family planning services for those who otherwise would not be eligible for Medicaid funding.

Finally, we can encourage the use of long-acting, reversible contraception, or so-called LARC methods. These methods include intra-uterine devices (IUD's) or Implanon. These methods are safe, easy and effective.

Having a record number of abortions performed in North Dakota is a sign that things have got to change. Let's work together to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies from even occurring. It is an attainable goal we all should be striving for.

Kromenaker is director of the Red River Women's Clinic

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