NEW POLICY: Board Bans Video Conference Abortions

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The Iowa Board of Medicine has voted to end a controversial abortion practice that allowed doctors to prescribe abortion medication remotely, through video-conferencing.

The board voted Friday 8-2 to adopt a policy that requires doctors to meet in person with a patient for a physical exam, be present when the pill is dispensed, and conduct a follow-up examination two weeks later.

A hearing was held Wednesday to debate the issue.

Dr. Thomas Ross with Planned Parenthood says the procedure is safe. “Abortion by medication is an extremely low risk medical intervention, I would call it safe.”

Mark Bowden, executive director of the Iowa Board of Medicine, says the board’s actions do nothing ban abortions they simply align Iowa procedures with federal rules. He says the board took the action because it believes it is in the best interest of public safety for Iowa women.

The rule will be published in an administrative bulletin October 2nd and will be effective November 6th.

The lowa Administrative Rules Review Committee has the option to intervene the implementation of the rule, but a previous motion to block the rule did not pass.