The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Food & Health

February 6, 2014

Panel OKs ban on remote abortion pill distribution

(Continued)

“In a rural state like Iowa, telemedicine ensures that Iowans have access to health care regardless of their geographical location,” she said.

The Iowa Board of Medicine last summer adopted rules regarding the administration of abortion pills that were set to go into effect in November. These rules do not explicitly mention telecommunication services, but require the physical presence of a physician.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, which provides abortion pills at 12 remote locations throughout Iowa, challenged the regulations, and a judge ruled the organization could keep using video conferencing to distribute the drugs until the matter is resolved by the courts.

Planned Parenthood became the first organization to implement such a system when it began the program in 2008.

Similar legislation stalled last year, and the bill could have difficulty passing in the Democratic-majority Senate.

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