Nebraska Bill Bans Telemed Abortions Using RU 486 Drug

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 28, 2010   |   5:31PM   |   Lincoln, NE

A proposed law in Nebraska would stop the telemed abortion process currently employed at Planned Parenthood centers in neighboring Iowa from expanding there.

Telemed abortions are those where women visit an abortion center and don’t meet in person with a physician before taking the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug, as the FDA suggests. Instead, they are only given access to a doctor over a Skype computer connection before being prescribed the drug that has killed potentially dozens worldwide and injured more than 1,100 in the United States alone as of 2006, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

The legislative proposal would prohibit Nebraska physicians from prescribing and dispensing the abortion drug via the Internet, which Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has done in Iowa in more than 2,000 cases since mid-2008.

Julie Schmit-Albin, executive director of Nebraska Right to Life, talked with about the legislation, which would follow a successful abortion ban prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks because unborn children can experience excruciating pain during the abortion. That law drove out late-term abortion practitioner LeRoy Carhart and legislators in other states are using it as a model to promote similar legislation.

Schmit-Albin says women who get the abortion drug without an in-person exam and visit with a physician are left to deal with any consequences alone and she pointed to stories of “young girls being sent home to hemorrhage and deliver their babies at home not knowing what to expect.”

“This isn’t about women’s access to “healthcare” but more about Planned Parenthood reaching its tentacles across the vast expanse of our state into rural areas where they have not been and inflicting a dangerous drug cocktail on women and young girls who might end up in their local emergency rooms hours away from the abortionist who started the abortion,” she said.

She said women visiting Planned Parenthood for the telemed abortions “are told by Planned Parenthood to act like they are having a miscarriage if they go into an ER after having problems at home. So the local ER doctor doesn’t even know that her problem is due to a chemical abortion.”

“How is this about improving women’s health?” Schmit-Albin asked. “It’s all about the bottom line for Planned Parenthood: money.:

In comments to the Omaha World-Herald newspaper, Kyle Carlson, legal director for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, said restrictions would hurt the overall cause of telemedicine and using the Internet to help people in rural areas get care. Carlson confirmed the abortion giant would fight the bill.

Iowa lawmakers are also looking at legislation to stop or limit the use of what Schmit-Albin calls “web cam abortions.”

“To make an argument that telemedicine is unsafe because the physician is not present is not an attack on abortion, it’s an attack on telemedicine,” he said.

Planned Parenthood is also expected to oppose other pro-life measures Nebraska lawmakers are planning to introduce, including a bill sponsored by Sens. Annette Dubas of Fullerton and Beau McCoy of Omaha that would prohibit health care plans under the new ObamaCare law from funding abortions with taxpayer dollars.


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