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August 19th, 2014

Branstad Hails Judge’s Decision on Webcam Abortion Ban

Branstad in office

Governor Terry Branstad praised the decision by a Polk County judge to uphold the ban on webcam abortions in Iowa. Last year, the Iowa Board of Medicine outlawed webcam abortions with an 8-2 vote. Planned Parenthood, the state’s largest abortion provider, filed a lawsuit to have the board’s decision overturned.

District Judge Jeffrey Farrell ruled Tuesday morning that the Board of Medicine acted within its authority when they banned the practice.

“It’s a judge that I recently appointed, who was an administrative law judge. He went to the state before he become a district court judge, so he’s somebody who’s very knowledgeable,” Governor Branstad said.

Branstad discussed the news during a lunch hour fundraiser for congressional candidate David Young. The governor had not read the judge’s decision yet but his legal advisor Brenna Findley told him it was a well-written opinion.

“We fully expect that Planned Parenthood will appeal it, but with a good opinion, written by a very knowledgeable judge in administrative law, hopefully this will be upheld,” Branstad said. “It certainly is the right decision because the code says before an abortion can be performed, there needs to be an examination. I don’t see how you can do an examination by telemedicine.”

Although the Board of Medicine banned webcam abortions last year, Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit prompted a different Polk County district judge to play a stay on the ban. Following Judge Farrell’s ruling, the webcam abortion ban can begin in 30 days.

Iowa Right to Life led the effort to ban the practice, which they say comes with the added stigma of being dangerous for woman undergoing the procedure. The Board of Medicine agreed.

“Over the last six years, we have worked tirelessly to educate Iowans about this dangerous practice that risks the health of women all over Iowa. We welcome today’s ruling by Judge Farrell in which he rules in favor of the Iowa Board of Medicine’s decision to ban the dangerous practice of webcam abortion in the State of Iowa,” stated Jenifer Bowen, executive director of Iowa Right to Life.

“While the plaintiffs have vowed to appeal this common-sense decision, we know having reviewed the Iowa Board of Medicine’s rationale behind the rule at question in the case and after hearing from women who have suffered complications and negative effects of the procedure, a ban on the practice was the only logical outcome in this case,” Bowen added.

Photo by Dave Davidson,

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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