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House committee approves bill to ban telemed abortions

Human fetus
Human fetus

DES MOINES – A bill banning telemed abortions was approved Thursday in a House Committee at the Iowa legislature.

The bill relates to the use of telecommunications technology in the termination of a pregnancy. The bill prohibits a person from dispensing to a pregnant woman via telecommunications technology, including but not limited to a web cam or teleconferencing, any chemical agent or drug designed to terminate a human pregnancy.

According to a report in the Des Moines Register, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland “provides so-called chemical abortions in several of its rural clinics via a video-conference connection to doctors in the Des Moines area. Doctors perform a live-video consultation and then press a button from their offices to open a container that dispenses medication at the clinic.”

Iowa capitol
Iowa capitol

The Register reported that the Iowa Board of Medicine already has a similar rule in affect, but a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood has delayed its implementation.  In the event this bill was signed into law, the lawsuit would become moot.

The bill could be debated as early as next week. The Iowa House is controlled by Republicans and could pass there, but the Senate is controlled by Democrats, who have supported women’s rights and access to abortions.

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