KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Iowa Telemedicine Abortion Ban Stands After Ruling

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland had claimed the ban was meant to limit abortions for women who live in rural areas.

Des Moines Register/USA Today: Judge Rules Against Use Of Telemed Abortion System
Iowa regulators were within their authority when they voted to ban a first-in-the-nation videoconferencing system that allows doctors here to dispense abortion drugs to women in rural clinics, a Polk County District Court judge ruled Tuesday. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland had sued the Iowa Board of Medicine, contending that the board's decision to ban doctors from using its system was a blatant attempt to limit rural women's access to abortions (Leys, 8/19). 

Bloomberg: Planned Parenthood Loses ‘Telemedicine Abortion’ Ban Suit
An Iowa law barring doctors from remotely dispensing pregnancy-ending drugs withstood Planned Parenthood’s claim that it would impose a hardship on women living far from abortion providers. The decision by Polk County District Judge Jeffrey Farrell in Des Moines upholds an Iowa Board of Medicine rule requiring physicians to be present and to perform a physical examination before drugs are dispensed. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland Inc. claimed the restriction would compel women to travel farther to obtain abortions, leading to delays and a potential increase in illegal abortions. Farrell said the board had a legitimate basis for its measure (Harris, 8/19).

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