Iowa Pro-Life Groups to Hold Press Conference Against Telemed Abortions
by Steven Ertelt
August 18, 2010
Des Moines, IA (LifeNews.com) — A coalition of pro-life and pro-family organizations will hold a press conference on Friday prior to the afternoon session of the Iowa Board of Medicine. The groups will voice strong opposition to the use of telemedicine for abortions by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.
The press conference comes before the Iowa Board of Medicine meeting that could have them reviewing a complaint to investigate the practices of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, specifically the use of telemedicine to dispense RU-486, the dangerous abortion drug.
Planned Parenthood is denying women an in-person doctor visit before getting the drug that has killed at least 13 women and injured at least 1,100 more according to 2006 FDA figures, Maggie DeWitte, the director of Iowans for Life, told LifeNews.com.
Since beginning this procedure in June 2008, more than 1,500 Iowa babies have been aborted with these telemed drugs," she said.
The highlight of the press conference will be the announcing of a letter signed by dozens of state and national pro-life and pro-family organizations, which will be presented to the Iowa Board of Medicine during the public comments portion of the meeting.
We want the Board to know that thousands of men and women represented by the groups listed in our letter are watching to see what happens, and are praying that they will determine that the beneficial practice of telemedicine should not be perverted in this manner, said DeWitte.
Steve Brody the director of Dubuque County Right to Life, will also be on hand of the press conference as will Operation Rescue, which has been a part of exposing the telemed abortion practice.
After the press conference, Operation Rescue plans to attend the public comment portion of the IBM meeting and voice strong opposition to the misuse of telemedicine by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, which conducts abortion by pill without a licensed physician present or physically available to the patient, even in the event of an emergency.
Operation Rescue filed a complaint with the IBM against Planned Parenthood of the Heartland in an effort to stop the dangerous practice of the push-button telemed abortions. That complaint launched an investigation that is ongoing.
"We encourage everyone who can to attend the press conference and IBM meeting to voice concerns about Planned Parenthood’s dangerous misuse of technology that kills innocent babies and endangers the lives of women," said the group’s president Troy Newman.
"Now is the time for us to stand up and speak on behalf of those who have no voice," he told LifeNews.com.
Operation Rescue will also be commenting on its interactions with the Iowa Attorney General’s office regarding requests for a criminal investigation and audit of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland for alleged violations concerning telemed abortions.
The new complaint with the state attorney general names abortion practitioners Thomas William Ross and Susan Haskell, both osteopaths who are employed with PPH and are known to participate in the telemed abortion scheme.
The complaint lists five major areas of concern regarding telemed abortions, including a potential violation of Iowa law requiring that only licensed physicians perform abortions and that its remote dispensing practice for abortion drugs RU 486 and misoprostol ignores FDA protocols and are intentionally endangering womens’ lives.
The complaints also include allegations of criminal negligence and consumer protections law violations as OR says "evidence shows that Planned Parenthood intentionally exceeds manufacturer warnings and safety limits, and misrepresents to patients the actual failure rate of the medical abortion process."
They include allegations of consumer protection violations regarding insurance company overbilling and of patient abandonment "since the licensed physician only speaks with the patient for a brief time over an Internet teleconferencing hookup, and never interacts with the patient again even in the case of emergency."
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