Iowa Supreme Court building.

Iowa Supreme Court building.

The Iowa Supreme Court says so-called telemedicine abortions can continue in the state. The Supreme Court says the rule created by the Iowa Board of Medicine 2013 requiring a doctor to be on hand when women are given drugs to induce an abortion is unconstitutional. The rule effectively prevented Planned Parenthood from using webcams or teleconferencing to dispense abortion-inducing drugs to patients in remote locations.

The Board of Medicine said the rule was intended to protect the safety of women. Planned Parenthood sued, saying the rule was politically motivated by the board that was appointed by Governor Terry Branstad who opposes abortion. A Polk County judge upheld the rule and Planned Parenthood appealed.

The Iowa Supreme Court ruling says the rule has very limited health benefits and says while undoubtedly everyone would prefer to see a doctor in person every time they have a medical issue, the reality of modern medicine is otherwise.” The court says the telemedicine rule would make it more challenging for many women who wish to exercise their constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.

Full ruling: Telemed abortion ruling PDF

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