Use Telemedicine to Save Lives, Not Subject Them to Abortions

State   |   Steve Brody   |   Jun 9, 2011   |   7:57PM   |   Des Moines, IA

In May 2010, Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards visited Cedar Rapids to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Planned Parenthood of East Central Iowa. It was during her visit that an announcement was made regarding the nationwide expansion of webcam or “telemed” abortions.

The expansion was to first take place in Cedar Rapids and Dubuque, as part of Planned Parenthood’s strategic plan.

Here is a quick recap of a webcam abortion: A woman visits a local Planned Parenthood. Following a positive pregnancy test, a vaginal ultrasound is done to determine the age of the baby. The ultrasound is not shown to the mother. This information is emailed to a doctor located somewhere else in the state.

After reviewing the information, the doctor consults with the mother via webcam. A physical exam is not performed because the doctor is not there. Once it is determined that the mother wants to terminate her pregnancy, the doctor electronically unlocks a drawer that contains RU-486. The doctor instructs the mother to take the first dose in front of the camera and the remaining doses at home.

The first dose will kill the baby, and the secondary doses will cause the mother to deliver the dead baby at home.

Planned Parenthood refers to this as “the miscarriage experience.” At least 2,000 babies have died via webcam abortions in Iowa. RU-486 causes excessive bleeding, infection, hemorrhaging and at least 13 deaths in the U.S., due to the unnatural stimulation it causes to the body.

Planned Parenthood is moving forward with its strategic plan. In December, Planned Parenthood of East Central Iowa, including Dubuque and Cedar Rapids, merged with Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, the affiliate that pioneered webcam abortions.

Shortly thereafter, telecommunication vehicles appeared outside the Dubuque location. This would confirm that webcam abortions in Dubuque are definitely on the to-do list.

Planned Parenthood of Southeast Iowa has just announced its merger with Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. All of its locations did not perform abortions, but webcam abortions are now a distinct possibility as part of the same affiliate. In fact, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s territory now includes the entire states of Iowa and Nebraska.

Recognizing the health risks that this practice poses to women, many states have introduced legislation to ban webcam abortions. Arizona, North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri have already banned them. Iowa introduced a similar bill but it died in committee on a bogus claim that it would have adverse effects on the psychiatric community.

Planned Parenthood trivializes “the miscarriage experience” and makes it sound like no big deal to the mother. This cavalier approach angers me and demonstrates that they care nothing about the health or well-being of women.

But why should I care, since I am a man, and will never become pregnant? I care, because last month, my wife almost died from the excessive bleeding caused by the miscarriage of our 14-week-old unborn child. This did not happen because she took RU-486, but only because God decided that precious child needed to be in Heaven instead of on Earth. My wife did not “choose” to suffer in this manner, and yet I almost lost her as well as our child.

Planned Parenthood must not be allowed to dispense this dangerous medication on such a widespread basis. I urge you to contact your legislators in Iowa and tell them that they must pass a ban on webcam abortions.

The practice of telemedicine is beneficial and helpful by doctors to save lives. It should remain that way and never be used to take lives. Note: Brody has been executive director of Dubuque County Right to Life since 2008.