Iowa Attorney General Blocking Probe of Planned Parenthood Telemed Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 21, 2010   |   12:27AM   |   Des Moines, IA

Documents a pro-life group has obtained from the Iowa Attorney General’s office through the open records act reveal Attorney General Tom 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.

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.

Operation Rescue has called on Miller to launch a criminal investigation of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and their telemed abortions, but Miller has refused.

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.

OR tells 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 today.

“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. [related]

“There is a very real possibility that political and personal affiliations are being placed above the health and safety of women in Iowa. That is the very definition of corruption,” he added.

Several pro-life groups are holding a public meeting on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at The Downtown Church on 323 East Locust Street in Des Moines, Iowa to provide more information about the telemed abortion problems.