Last week, the Iowa House passed a ban on telemedical abortion within the state. The Iowa Board of Medicine last year voted to ban the practice, but a state court judge, finding no evidence that telemedicine abortions were unsafe, temporarily blocked the Board’s new rules, allowing the practice to continue.

Iowa’s telemedicine abortion program allows women to consult with doctors through video technology before being prescribed the abortion-inducing pill. It has been heralded as a safe and effective form of reproductive health care since its implementation five years ago, and allows women living in rural areas to obtain the medication without having to travel.

“Since 2008, more than 5,000 Iowa women have accessed medication abortion delivered through telemedicine, with zero serious complications reported,” said Erin Davison-Rippey, a policy analyst for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. “The bottom line is, HF 2175 only makes it more difficult for a woman to access safe, legal care, and every woman deserves to have access to safe health care, regardless of her zip code.”

The bill has yet to pass the state senate, but opponents of the legislation are hopeful that the Democrat-controlled body will kill it before it can become a law.

The telemedicine abortion ban is part of a wave of anti-choice legislation in Iowa, which includes an effort to create a cause of action for abortion distress.

Media Resources: Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier 2/11/14; Sioux City Journal 2/13/14; RH Reality Check 2/14/14; Press-Citizen 2/11/14; Feminist Newswire 9/6/13, 8/8/13; Des Moines Register 11/5/13

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