Webcam abortions in Iowa banned by the Iowa Board of Medicine

On Friday, the Iowa Board of Medicine decided to ban webcam abortions. In a letter to Mark Bowden, Executive Director of the Iowa Board of Medicine, members of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists and lawyers for Alliance Defending Freedom explain the process used for webcam abortions in Iowa:

A physician in another location, usually Des Moines, would ask the woman a few questions via an Internet webcam connection, then press a button to open a drawer in front of the woman whereupon the abortifacient drugs mifepristone and misoprostol were released to the woman.

After taking those pills and then another set a day or two later, the woman could end her pregnancy. However, if complications occurred, there would be no doctor at the abortion clinic to help; instead, the woman would have to report a “miscarriage” at the nearest emergency room.

The letter also explained that this “webcam procedure” is contrary to FDA protocol for mifepristone and misprostol abortions, concluding:

Planned Parenthood must not be allowed to become a law unto itself, singlehandedly driving down the standard of care for women’s health because of its near-monopoly on telemed abortion in Iowa.  And while a single provider must never be permitted to be the sole determinant of the standard of care, this is particularly true in the case of Planned Parenthood, which has already demonstrated its lack of regard for women’s well-being through its off-label use of this very drug.

Before Friday, sixteen states required the physician to be physically present before an abortion can be performed, and now Iowa has joined the list.

Michael Norton, Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel, commends the Board for standing up and putting the safety of women over the profits of Planned Parenthood:

Planned Parenthood and other abortionists should be accountable to basic health and medical standards. That at least includes a licensed professional personally meeting with women who are considering such a serious and potentially life-altering act.  That’s why we commend the Iowa Board of Medicine for caring more about the health and safety of mothers than about the profits Planned Parenthood obtains through ‘webcam’ abortions. Chemical abortions pose serious health risks to women, so their care should not be taken lightly. No matter where people stand on abortion, all should be able to agree on that.

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