ND Attorney General to weigh in on legality of Planned Parenthood funding

BISMARCK – North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem will weigh in on the legal question said to be at the heart of North Dakota State University administrators’ Jan. 14 decision to freeze a $1.2 million federal grant to create a new comprehensive sexual education program.

Chancellor Hamid Shirvani told The Forum that he and North Dakota University System General Counsel Claire Holloway talked with Stenehjem late last week to request an informal opinion on a 1979 North Dakota law that officials said could forbid the program from moving forward because of its plan to team up with Planned Parenthood.

But Stenehjem didn’t want to issue an informal opinion, Shirvani said, so University System officials submitted a request Wednesday calling for a formal opinion on the matter. He said Stenehjem has agreed to expedite the request; there’s no firm timeline yet on when he will issue an opinion.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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