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November 6th, 2013

Webcam Abortions to Continue in Iowa, For Now

The pro-life movement in Iowa suffered a setback on Tuesday when a Polk County judge issued a temporary hold on the Iowa Board of Medicine’s webcam abortion ban. The new rule banning the practice was scheduled to go into effect Wednesday. The temporary hold prevents that from taking effect and the ultimate fate of this issue will eventually be decided in the Iowa court system.

District Court Judge Karen Romano, a 2001 appointee by then-Governor Tom Vilsack, handed down the decision with a 16-page ruling.

“Today’s decision by Judge Romano is simply one more difficult, heart-wrenching step in the battle we are ultimately going to win,” Iowa Right to Life Executive Director Jenifer Bowen said in a statement sent to supporters.

The Iowa Board of Medicine decided in August, on an 8-2 vote, that the practice of dispensing a pill to induce a miscarriage via a long distance teleconference is unsafe and should be discontinued.

“There is ample medical evidence that these abortions are unsafe,” Bowen said. “The FDA has documented 2,207 adverse events in the U.S. of women who have had medical abortions, including 14 deaths, 612 hospitalizations, 339 cases where blood loss was so great the woman needed a transfusion, 256 infections and 58 ectopic pregnancies.”

Judge Romano questioned why the Iowa Board of Medicine would ban this particular tele-med process, but not others.

“With respect to the lack of an in-person meeting, it is peculiar, as petitioners point out, that the board would mandate this for abortion services and not any other telemedicine practices in Iowa,” Romano wrote.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland filed the lawsuit in Polk County, hoping to overturn the Iowa Board of Medicine’s ruling. This followed a disastrous showing by Planned Parenthood representatives during a hearing in front of the Board of Medicine in August. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s chairman, and others,  refused to answer basic questions regarding the healthcare they provide to patients.

“Obviously, as the largest Pro-Life organization in Iowa, it would be correct to say that we believe in the sanctity of life of the unborn, but we are equally concerned for the safety of born women,” Bowen said. “It is devastating that Judge Romano and the abortion industry in Iowa are ignoring the health and well-being of women to push their own agenda and continue to make this about abortion access, and about politics.”

For now, the pro-abortionists earned a victory. They will continue to conduct abortions via webcam while this case takes the arduous journey through the Iowa court system.

About the Author

Kevin Hall

Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor’s office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad’s 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for

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