Planned Parenthood Closes Webcam Abortion Centers in Iowa

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 1, 2012   |   12:31PM   |   Des Moines, IA

The Planned Parenthood abortion business is closing two centers that engage in telemed or webcam abortions — where women get the dangerous abortion drug but are denied an in-person medical examination from a physician as suggested by the FDA.

40 Days for Life campaign director Shawn Carney announced the closures yesterday and will join local pro-life advocates at those centers in prayer during the national campaign going on now.

“On March 1, Planned Parenthood’s failed telemed abortion facilities in Storm Lake and Knoxville, Iowa are closing forever, thanks in part to the hard work and prayers of hundreds of faithful Iowa pro-lifers who participated in 40 Days for Life campaigns outside each facility’s doors,” said David Bereit, national director of 40 Days for Life.

Bereit, along with Carney, will speak at events celebrating the closure of the Planned Parenthood telemed abortion facilities in Storm Lake and Knoxville today and tomorrow. They will also visit 40 Days for Life campaigns in the Des Moines area.

Bereit said, “Regrettably, Planned Parenthood exploited Iowa women as guinea pigs in the abortion chain’s experimental rollout of telemed abortions in an effort to expand abortions across the state, despite the fatalities and complications caused by the abortion drug used in the procedure. The closure of these two facilities demonstrates that Planned Parenthood’s abortion expansion scheme has failed and should be immediately halted.”

In Storm Lake, Bereit and Carney will be joined by Sue Thayer, the former manager of the Planned Parenthood center there, who led a 40 Days for Life campaign outside the facility last fall. Planned Parenthood had fired Thayer after she objected to the telemed abortion project.

The webcam abortion practice started with the Planned Parenthood of the Heartland affiliate using it in Iowa, a rural state where the abortion business has a difficult time getting an abortion practitioner to each of its clinics. As a result, it set up a process by which the abortion practitioner only visits with the woman considering using the mifepristone abortion pill via a videoconference, as opposed to an in-person visit the FDA suggests.

With the drug having killed dozens of women worldwide and injured more than 2,200 alone in the United States, according to April 2011 FDA figures, pro-life groups have been concerned about Planned Parenthood putting women’s health at risk.

RU 486  and its companion drug are administered between the fifth and ninth weeks of pregnancy, after pregnancy has been confirmed and the process typically involves three trips to a doctor. About half of the women abort while at the doctor’s office, with another 26 percent having an abortion within the next 20 hours at any location at home or in public. The remainder either have an abortion in the coming weeks or none at all of the drug fails to work — making it so a surgical abortion is required.

Through April, the FDA reports 2,207 adverse events related to the use of RU 486, including 14 deaths, 612 hospitalizations, 58 ectopic pregnancies, 339 blood transfusions, and 256 cases of infections in the United States alone. A European drug manufacturer has publicly stated that 28 women have died worldwide after using RU 486/mifepristone.