(Des Moines, IA) Breaking… Polk County District Court Judge Karen Romano ordered a stay of the Iowa Board of Medicine’s recent ruling banning webcam abortions.  Planned Parenthood of the Heartland filed a lawsuit against the Iowa Board of Medicine in order to have the ruling overturned.

The new rule was set to go into effect tomorrow, November 6th.  Judge Romano said that she would make her ruling on a stay pending judicial review today. 

In a released statement on September 27, 2013 the Board said “the goal of the new rule is to protect the health and safety of Iowans. The Board believes that all patients, including those in rural Iowa, deserve the highest level of care. The Board believes that a physician must establish an appropriate physician-patient relationship prior to the provision of a medical abortion. The physician’s in-person medical interview and physical examination of the patient are essential to establishing that relationship. “

Update: Iowa Right to Life responds to the ruling.

This morning, Judge Karen Romano announced that, at the request of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, she would place a motion for stay pending judicial review on the recent decision by the Iowa Board of Medicine (IBOM) to end dangerous webcam abortions in our state.

You will remember that just this past August, the IBOM voted 8-2 to end webcam abortion in Iowa.  They stated, "All Iowans are entitled to the same high level of health care, regardless of whether they live in rural or urban areas," which includes the right to be examined by a doctor prior to an abortion and a right to follow up care.

In this reckless webcam abortion scheme, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland does not provide even this basic care for women.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has women talk to a doctor only by webcam and then sends them home for excruciating pain and bleeding-sometimes for up to two weeks or more-and in the end, having to see and deal with the body of their dead baby.  (At 9 weeks the baby’s heart has been beating since 18 days after conception, is about two inches long and simply needs time to grow.  This matters because the woman will be left to deal with her dead baby alone.)

Further, if the abortion is incomplete, women may need a surgical abortion.  We know this because Planned Parenthood’s website says women must agree to a follow-up surgical abortion if the abortion pill doesn’t work.

There is ample medical evidence that these abortions are unsafe. 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.

Women who died from medical abortions died from a bacterial infection like toxic shock, hemorrhaging to death, ruptured ectopic pregnancy and massive heart attack.

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. 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. 

These abortions, where a woman NEVER physically sees a doctor, who goes home to hemorrhage for days and ultimately deliver her dead baby, is not empowering women.

Today’s decision by Judge Romano is simply one more difficult, heart-wrenching step in the battle we are ultimately going to win.

Jenifer Bowen

Executive Director

Iowa Right to Life

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