Iowa Attorney General Probed for Blocking Abortion Complaint
by Steven Ertelt | Des Moines, IA | LifeNews.com | 12/14/10 12:57 PM
The Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board has launched a formal investigation into Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller for blocking an abortion investigation.
Miller came under fire in October after the pro-life group Operation Rescue obtained documents from his office showing Miller and his staff are hindering the group’s request for an investigation into the dangerous telemed abortion process Planned Parenthood is using in the state.
“It is clear to us that Tim Miller placed the interests of his friends and political allies at Planned Parenthood above the laws of the State of Iowa and the health and safety of women,” said OR president Troy Newman, who filed the ethics complaint against Miller.
Newman filed the complaint on November 29 alleging a conflict of interest, due to Miller’s close professional and personal associations with staff members of the Planned Parenthood of the Heartland abortion business. The complaint also says Miller has been hindering or impeding efforts to obtain independent criminal investigations.
It also cites corruption, for allegedly putting his political associates and personal friends ahead of his vow to enforce the laws of the State of Iowa.
Operation Rescue conducted an investigation earlier this year of the telemed abortion process — whereby a woman receives the dangerous abortion drug after a video chat with the abortion practitioner instead of an in-person medical examination. It discovered information that gave Newman reason to believe Planned Parenthood’s telemed abortion pill scheme violates both standards of care and Iowa law.
Operation Rescue filed a formal complaint with the Iowa Board of Medicine in April, 2010, asking for an investigation and it is on-going.
Documents the group received from an anonymous source contain a collection of e-mail communications from January 2008 through July 2010 between members of the Iowa Attorney General’s office and staff members for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.
The group told LifeNews.com the documents reveal that the Attorney General’s office attempted to head off Operation Rescue’s request of ten county prosecutors for a criminal investigation of PPH’s telemed abortion process.
“Miller’s staffers and PPH employees attend the same parties, they ask about each other’s surgeries or how the grandkids are,” OR president Troy Newman told LifeNews.com.
“Some AG staffers subscribe to Planned Parenthood’s e-mail distribution list and Planned Parenthood staffers have alerted the AG’s office to potential negative information about political opponents and even forward some of our press releases to Miller’s people,” he added. “Miller’s office has aided PPH staffers in pursuing employment opportunities in the AG’s office.”
Newman says his group and other pro-life organizations pressing to hold Planned Parenthood accountable should be concerned by the “cozy relationships” between PPH staffers and Miller’s office.
“We are more concerned than ever that an obvious bias in favor of Planned Parenthood exists in Iowa governmental agencies. That presents a grave conflict of interest,” he said.
Newman says the 906 pages he received also make him concerned the state medical board will not do its duty to probe Planned Parenthood and act on complaints pro-life advocates have submitted to the agency.
“Will that bias effect the Iowa Board of Medicine’s judgment when it comes to investigating Planned Parenthood as it has adversely affected the county attorneys that were influenced? It very well may have already, and that is troubling,” he said.
Worried that Miller would not follow through on the complains, Operation Rescue sent complaints to county attorneys in ten Iowa Counties known to have telemed abortion facilities.
“Responses were received indicating that Miller had previously alerted the county attorneys and indicated to them that investigations should be left to the Iowa Board of Medicine. This virtually shut down any hope of gaining an investigation that Miller’s office could not control,” the organization indicated.
Telemed abortions are abortions using the RU 486 abortion drug, that has killed dozens of women worldwide and injured more than 1,100 women in the United States alone as of 2006 FDA figures.
The FDA recommends that women see a physician before using the abortion drug because of health and safety concerns, but Planned Parenthood clinics in Iowa are preventing women from an in-person consultation and requiring them to visit with the abortion practitioner via a video hookup.