Iowa Supreme Court Building Photo credit: Ctjf83 via Wikimedia Commons (CC-By-SA 3.0)
Iowa Supreme Court Building Photo credit: Ctjf83 via Wikimedia Commons (CC-By-SA 3.0)
Iowa Supreme Court Building
Photo credit: Ctjf83 via Wikimedia Commons (CC-By-SA 3.0)

Tuesday the Iowa Supreme Court decided to put a stay on the Iowa Board of Medicine’s rule banning webcam abortions. Polk County District Court Judge Jeffrey Farrell, last month, sided with the Iowa Board of Medicine’s webcam abortion ban.  The Iowa Board of Medicine, in August of last year, decided 8-2 on a rule that effectively ban telemed abortions in the state.

Farrell in his ruling last August wrote, “There is no question that the board has the power to establish standards of practice for the medical profession. Those standards include the authority to adopt and enforce standards regarding the minimal standards of acceptable and prevailing practice.”

Without the Iowa Supreme Court intervention the ruling would be implemented today.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland started the webcam abortion practice in order to expand their business to rural Iowa without having to place a doctor in those locations.  A woman visiting a Planned Parenthood of the Heartland clinic would consult with a doctor by webcam.  The doctor would then trigger a drawer to open providing clients with doses of two drugs – Mifepristone and Misoprostol.  Mifepristone (RU-486), taken at the clinic, blocks the action of progesterone, the natural hormone vital to maintaining the rich nutrient lining of the uterus.  As a result of this drug, a developing baby starves as this nutrient lining disintegrates.  Misoprostol is taken at home several days after the Mifepristone is taken.  This drug initiates uterine contractions and causes the pregnant mother to miscarry.

Iowa Right to Life contends there are two primary problems with webcam abortions: 1. There are no qualified medical personnel to examine the woman and rule out life-threatening risks such as ectopic pregnancy. 2. There is no follow care for complications. Crisis Magazine refers to this process as “Do-It-Yourself” abortions which is an excellent way to describe the process.

With the Iowa Supreme Court’s stay will be in place while Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s lawsuit proceeds.

As of this writing the Iowa Supreme Court decision has not yet been released to the public.

Update: The article was edited to make it clear that the Iowa Supreme Court did not reverse the previous ruling, but just placed a stay on the Iowa Board of Medicine rule until they can decide the case.

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