Pro-Life Group Files Complaint in Iowa Against Telemed Abortion Drug Process

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 8, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Group Files Complaint in Iowa Against Telemed Abortion Drug Process

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 8
, 2010

Des Moines, IA ( — A pro-life group has filed a complaint with the media board in Iowa about the new "telemed" process Planned Parenthood is using to dispense abortion drugs. The process has abortion practitioners instruct women on using the dangerous abortion drug by video conference instead of assisting them in person.

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.

Last month, Operation Rescue released a report exposing the practice, which it says is putting women’s health at risk and involves the potential bilking of insurance companies.

Today, Operation Rescue filed formal complaints with the Medical Board of Iowa asking for an investigation into the process and asking officials to stop allowing abortions without a licensed physician on site and discipline those involved.

Separate complaints were filed against abortion practitioner Susan Haskell and her employer, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.

The pro-life group told the complain asserts that it is a violation of Iowa law which says only licensed physicians, not staffers in their stead, can do abortions.

"Planned Parenthood protocols deviate from FDA-approved protocols by eliminating visits along with other safety precautions," the complaint ads. "Deviation from FDA protocols and lack of an onsite licensed physician presents unacceptable health and safety risks to women."

It also complains that insurance companies are "overbilled at twice the price of cash patients, which is an unethical financial practice that raises the cost of health care."

Tory Newman, the president of the group, talked about the complaint and said it came after getting no response from Iowa officials.

"We have made attempts to inquire about the legality of these ‘telemed abortions’ from the Iowa Medical Board for at least two weeks, without adequate response," he said. "Therefore, we had no choice but to file a formal complaint in order to get their attention so that women can be protected from this outrageous and dangerous abortion scheme."

In the telemed abortion drug process, 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.

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.

Related web sites:
OR report on telemed abortions

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