Iowa Board of Medicine to Receive Letter Asking for End to Telemed Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 5, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Iowa Board of Medicine to Receive Letter Asking for End to Telemed Abortions

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 5
, 2010

Des Moines, IA ( — The Iowa Board of Medicine will soon receive a letter from prominent pro-life leaders and groups — both in Iowa and across the nation — asking it to shut down the telemed abortion scheme Planned Parenthood is operating in the state.

The process has women getting the dangerous abortion drug without an in-person examination by a physician.

It’s further concerning to pro-life advocates because national Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards recently visited Iowa and confirmed the abortion business has plans to put women at risk nationwide. Planned Parenthood is denying them an in-person doctor visit before getting the drug that has killed at least 13 women — and perhaps as many as 40 — and injured at least 1,100 more according to 2006 FDA figures.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is already the subject of a criminal complaint pro-life group Operation Rescue made with Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and pro-life advocates say it should be subject to a state audit.

Now, three Iowa-based groups: Iowans for Life, Iowa Right to Life and Dubuque County Right to Life are organizing a letter to the Iowa Board of Medicine.

The letter requests the board to prohibit the telemed abortion process in Iowa.

"It is our understanding that Iowa law mandates that a physician must perform abortions. It is also our understanding that FDA protocols recommend usage of RU-486 only up to the seventh week of pregnancy. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland appears to be violating both standards, both by the physician not being present with the patient, and also by dispensing RU-486 up to the ninth week of pregnancy," the letter reads.

"The absence of a licensed physician performing a physical examination poses a significant health threat to the mother of the unborn child. An examination could reveal potential risk factors that may prevent a physician from prescribing RU-486 to the patient. These risk factors, if unidentified, could lead to excessive bleeding, infection, and death," it continues. "Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is ignoring this basic tenet of care by passing responsibility and directing patients to the emergency room if complications do occur."

The pro-life groups "urge you to conclude that the usage of telemedicine for the purpose of promoting the killing of unborn children is in violation of existing standards and must be prohibited."

Operation Rescue, one of the pro-life groups exposing the practice, informed that Richards revealed that expanding drug-induced into every Planned Parenthood center in the country through the use of the "telemed abortion" scheme is part of PPFA’s Strategic Plan for 2015.

Iowa Public Radio interviewed Richards, who confirmed that the telemed abortion process is beginning to expand throughout Iowa and that the abortion business has plans to expand it throughout the nation during the next five years.

"If this push-button abortion scheme is allowed to spread, it will only increase the number of abortions at a time when abortion rates are falling and abortion clinics are closing," OR president Troy Newman told

"Not only will more babies die, but women will be placed in increased danger of serious medical complications or death, with no real emergency plan other than to make patients fend for themselves at whatever emergency room they can find," he said.

Abortion rates nationally have dropped, as have the number of surgical abortion clinics. However, in Iowa, abortion rates have remained steady as telemed abortions have offset the decrease in the number of surgical abortions, Newman explained.

The pro-life group also discovered that Planned Parenthood charges insurance companies $1,000 for the abortion drug procedure — twice the cost of the abortion and something Newman says will drive up insurance prices for all consumers.

ACTION: Pro-life groups and leaders wanting to sign the letter can contact DCRTL. You can also sign the petition at


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