Report: Telemed Abortions Using Dangerous Drug Hurt Woman, Up Insurance Costs

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 29, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Report: Telemed Abortions Using Dangerous Drug Hurt Woman, Up Insurance Costs

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 29
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — A new reported issued by a national pro-life group takes on the growing practice of "telemed abortions" — which see abortion practitioners instruct women on using the dangerous abortion drug by video conference instead of assisting them in an in-person, on-site visit.

The practice involves the dangerous RU 486, or mifepristone, abortion drug that has killed at least 13 women worldwide and injured 1,100 in the U.S, alone as of 2006 FDA figures.

Operation Rescue released the report on telemed abortions, which it calls "a disturbing new trend in the abortion industry that could be endangering the lives and health of thousands of women."

The group also says the practice "is bilking insurance companies out of grossly inflated fees."

The pro-life organization engaged in an undercover investigation of the "telemed abortion" scheme operated by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland in Iowa.

Women visit the abortion facility for a drug-induced abortion and they visit with an off-site abortion practitioner who appears on a computer monitor and explains the medical abortion procedure to them before issuing a prescription for the abortion drug.

Abortion advocates talk about abortions as something "between a woman and her doctor" but the abortion practitioner never gives the woman a medical examination or even sees her in person and never sees the woman again after the abortion drug is issued.

Although required by Iowa law, the abortion business is detailing to women how abortions are done without the presence or examination of a licensed physician.

"The telemed abortion presents risks to women’s lives and health that are completely unacceptable," said Operation Rescue president Troy Newman.

"The lack of access to a licensed physician throughout this risky and painful abortion process is shocking, and likely illegal. Money obviously means more to Planned Parenthood than the lives and safety of women," he told today.

Operation Rescue also revealed Planned Parenthood is charging insurance companies $1,000 for this drug-induced abortion even though the overhead costs for the abortion is lower with the abortion practitioner off site.

This overbilling effectively drives up the cost of health insurance for everyone, Newman contends.

"Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is making a killing on medical abortions," he said. "Planned Parenthood is gouging insurance companies twice the price of their cash abortions. That’s how they can afford to keep their smaller clinics running."

"And if taxpayers are forced to fund these abortions, there’s no telling how much they will charge, because government funding is a blank check," he added.

Operation Rescue attempted to contact the Iowa Board of Medicine for a comment on the legality and safety of telemed abortions, but numerous phone calls were not returned.

Related web sites:
OR report on telemed abortions

Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From

Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report
Receive a free daily email report from with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.