The Fair-weather Faithful


Since it opened in 1998, the Red River Valley Women’s Clinic has provided

family planning services to the Fargo-Moorhead community.

Among those services, it specializes in abortion. As can be expected, some people do not agree with that practice and choose to protest.

While President Obama has said “However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.” the clinic still takes precautions. A section of green carpet in front of the door is private property and no trespassing is allowed and people entering the clinic are required to show a picture ID. A large surveillance camera is always on the entrance way and a buzzer goes off when ever the door is opened.

However as the mercury struggles to rise above zero, the cold temperatures have driven away most of the protesters.

“They have very little effect [on our staff], they’ve become common place.” says Sarah Haeder, who has managed the clinic for over a year.


“They’re usually only out on Wednesdays.” says Eric Natvig. Natvig works at JL Beers, located next door to the clinic. JL Beers is a burger-and-beer shop that opened in November of 2009.

“I don’t think they’ve had any impact at all [on our business] says Natvig.

“Sometimes they have an opposite effect then they intended. They do affect some patients but they make others more determined.” says Haeder.


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About Deneen Gilmour

Deneen Gilmour is the MSUM professor who channels her senior students' work onto this blog. The stories and multimedia here are created by each semester's Mass Comm 405/Writing for the Web class. Gilmour was a daily newspaper journalist for 16 years before getting her Ph.D. and moving into academia. She and her husband, Jim, have a 20-year-old son and two daughters, 8 and 10.

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