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Decision to Ban Telemed Abortion System Upheld by Judge

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DES MOINES, Iowa - A Polk County judge ruled Tuesday morning that the Iowa Board of Medicine was within its authority to ban a video conferencing system that allows a doctor to meet with a patient to dispense a drug that induces an abortion in rural clinics.

It's a procedure that's known as telemed abortion.

Timeline of EventsRead the Judicial Review - Read the Petition

In March, nine senate republicans presented a petition with 30,000 signatures to ban the abortion procedure. They said a woman's health suffers from not having a doctor present in the room when they have an abortion.

The Iowa Board of Medicine banned the practice three days later.

Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against the board, saying the board's decision was a blatant attempt to limit rural women's access to abortions.

The board's ban on the use of the telemedicine system has been on hold while Planned Parenthood pursued a legal appeal.

Polk County Judge Jeffrey Farrell ruled in favor of the board, and said rural Iowa women will just need to travel farther to obtain the procedure.

Planned Parenthood vs Iowa Board of Medicine on Dipity.


  • Sandy

    Again politics and “religion” are interfering in our courts. Scary and corrupt. Was not this judge appointed by Branstad, who has his own legal issues coming up soon over bullying? Supreme court here it comes. Pray for more women judges.

  • Troy Hendrickson

    To bad that under the precedent set by this ruling, the Board will now have to move to prohibit the dispensing of any prescription over the phone, you want your pain killers, gonna have to go see the doctor. This should be hilarious.

    But that’s what you get when you try to legislate according to false religious beliefs.

    • Sue

      Not wanting to prescribe a medication over the phone has nothing to do with religious beliefs, it has to do with the patient’s health and safety, and protecting the doctor from malpractice lawsuits. I would certainly hope that you are not able to call up a doctor, with whom you have no history, and say ‘gee, I hurt, I think I need ‘x’ mg of oxycodone 4 times a day, how bout you call that in to the pharmacy for me?’ and have the doctor actually do it! These doctors that would be prescribing these abortions over the phone don’t know these women. They haven’t done any kind of physical examination on them.

      • Nancy

        Oh please… this is politics and their religion–no place in our courts.
        Those on the Medical Board who denied telemedicine were chosen by our Governor who all are using politics and their religion in decision making. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out.

      • Sue

        So, Nancy, if you were a doctor, you would feel perfectly comfortable prescribing strong drugs over the phone to a patient you have never met??

  • Sue

    I don’t know, I am woman, I’ve had two kids, zero abortions. I, admittedly, don’t know a lot about a ‘chemical’ abortion, but, it certainly seems like a woman would WANT to meet, face to face, with a doctor for care for something like that. No one’s right to an abortion is being denied. It is just being kept as safe as possible. And, imagine the lawsuit brought against a doctor if they prescribed this abortion, over the phone, without ever meeting the woman, and she died due to complications from it. Nothing wrong with doctors protecting patients and themselves reasonably.

    And, if you’re not willing to go through a little effort to get an abortion, get on birth control, or keep your pants on.

    • Nancy

      “And, if you’re not willing to go through a little effort to get an abortion, get on birth control, or keep your pants on”. Keep your pants on? You don’t have a clue why many women have an abortion. Shame on you.

    • Sue

      So, enlighten me Nancy, why did you have your abortion? I guess I thought most women had them because they were pregnant with a child they did not want to give birth to for one reason or another.

      • iamjoespinkyfinger

        here’s the thing sue, that “god” you claim to follow, also told you to mind your own business and worry about yourself before even thinking about pointing fingers, so here’s the thing, why do you falsely claim a religion and then not even follow it?

      • Sue

        Well, Joe Stinky Finger, I don’t believe I EVER mentioned God, or the bible, or my religious beliefs. Never said I was pro-abortion or pro-life. My main comment on this story was that I think it is a bad idea for a doctor to be prescribing what must be a fairly strong drug over the phone without examining the patient before or after the drug is ingested. I even said in one of my posts that I did NOT see this as a religious issue.
        If I read LInda’s comments correctly, she seems to know when life begins. I just asked her when that was.
        I did comment that if you are going to have an abortion, you should expect there to be some inconvenience involved, you should expect it to take more than just a phone call. For goodness sakes, it takes more than a phone call to get an antibiotic for a child’s ear infection. Nancy said that obviously I didn’t understand why people had abortions. Seems fair to ask her why she had hers since she seems to think my lack of understanding there is the problem.

        So, Joe Stinky Fingers, before you sit and condemn me and my ‘god’ and my religious beliefs, slow down and read the posts. You are inferring a lot that was never said. I SEE NO CONNECTION TO RELIGION AND THIS DECISION!! I see this decision as a way to protect women and doctors. Doctors should not be forced to prescribe drugs over the phone. If we are going to force doctors to prescribe a drug for a patient without ever meeting that patient or evaluating their health to make sure their body can handle this drug without any other negative side affects, make the drug an over the counter drug. then it can be available everywhere!
        I DO NOT think this decision was just a way to keep women in outlying areas from getting abortions. They probably see doctors for other things, why can’t they see a doctor for an abortion?

  • Ashley

    Polk County Judge Jeffrey Farrell was chosen by Governor Branstad. Our Governor wants people who think and do business like he does. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know what this Judge’s decision was going to be. Those on the Board who opposed telemedicine were chosen by Governor Branstad, a cafeteria style Roman Catholic. It is very scary politics are in our court systems today. Pray for their victims.

  • Sue

    HOW is this a religious issue? Iowa has not outlawed abortions. They are just saying ‘controlled substances cannot be prescribed over the phone without the doctor and patient ever meeting face to face for a checkup.’ If you choose to live in an outlying area and don’t happen to have a Planned Parenthood 10 minutes from your home, that is YOUR choice. You chose to live there because you saw something positive in it. Guess what, there are negatives too. You probably have to drive a ways to get your groceries or go to a mall too.

  • John

    The pro- abortion crowd’s slogan for years has been “keep abortion safe and legal”. Apparently all they care about is the legal part. By the way, abortion is never safe for the child, it’s almost always fatal.

    • Linda

      I can tell you’re not a scientist as to not know when life actually begins. As you will learn, politics and religion have no place in our courts, corruption will breed.

    • iamjoespinkyfinger

      Your use of the term pro abortion is dishonest at best, but that’s to be expected from the religious right. Your own disobedience to the word of God simply proves what a hypocrite you are and deserving of no consideration.

      By the way Sue, in the Bible, virtually every reference to “life” in the Bible involves breath.

      Then we can discuss why God would place a higher penalty for killing a slave than making a woman lose her child.

      Then we can discuss why you stand here pointing fingers when your “god” told to you go home and mind your business.

      By the way, why would a “christian” be such a coward as to hide behind their computer while standing up for god?

      You people are always whining about your god being removed from schools. It must be a pretty weak god.

  • Robert

    Relax everyone! This is just a Polk County judge, decision. He was chosen by our Governor, who is right now in his own personal, corruption legal matters. This is history in the making.

  • iamjoespinkyfinger

    That would be the same governor who would rather people suffer and/or die rather than let them use a plant god created for relief and possibly even a cure right? Where’s that potser who was so upset about innocent life, she needs to talk to the governor about his abuse of innocent life.

    And the innocoent life his dirtball son took of course, with daddy’s full protection.

    • Sue

      Thanks, Joel! I personally don’t want my doctor prescribing things over the phone without ever meeting me. Sounds dangerous!

  • Joel

    Well, Sue, it looks like they can’t even cop together a direct response to your repeated inquiries. Anyone that thinks it is safe and should be legal to prescribe ANY drug of any kind (be it an abortion drug or pain killer or anything else) over the phone without even seeing the doctor is completely out of their mind. This is not an argument about politics and religion it is about whether or not it is safe to prescribe medications over the phone. Mindless nimrods on this forum I swear…

      • Sue

        Kerry, you DO realize that you sound like a 3 year old in an argument you know you have lost ‘I know you are, what am I, I know you are, what am I?’ Visions of PeeWee Herman dance through my head when I read your comment.

  • Cait McKnelly

    I seriously hope this is appealed to the Federal courts under the “undue burden” clause.
    By the way, Sue, life began several million years ago when the first carbon atoms got together and decided to get jiggy. Unless you’re a Buddhist, “life” means little. We slaughter animals and tear up plants on a daily basis to sustain our bodies.

    • Sue

      Cait, your comment about life beginning millions of years ago was only about as irrelevant as me saying that elephants are gray. You know perfectly well that has absolutely nothing to do with anything here. Linda seems to know EXACTLY when life, according to science, begins. Last I knew, there was still quite a bit of debate of when a fertilized egg becomes a life (there, is that better, a little more specific so you aren’t quite so confused). I’m sorry that pulling weeds and eating animals offends your Buddhist beliefs, but, I don’t think this is the right forum for that argument.

  • Deb

    The Iowa Board of Medicine members and the Polk County judge was hand picked by Governor Branstad. No one should be surprise by the outcome today.

  • Jerry

    The American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists have all recognized that some or all of these restrictions are politically motivated and guaranteed to block, not protect, a woman’s access to safe, accurate, evidence-based, up-to-date, ethical, compassionately delivered health care.

  • Dean

    There’s a reason Iowa’s the only state in the U.S that has allowed telemed abortions. The other 49 states realize docs enabling abortions without actually being there, besides the immorality of taking an innocent life, is reckless, stupid medical care. You can cite politics or religion, but if that woman is your wife or daughter, you’d better want a doctor by her side when that procedure happens. Common sense won, are you listening Planned Parenthood?

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