By Dave Andrusko
While their chances were slim and none, nine Iowa Republican state Senators nonetheless held a press conference today to ask their pro-abortion Democratic colleagues who control the chamber to permit a vote on a bill that would require abortionists to meet with patients in-person before providing them with abortion-inducing drugs. The Republican senators said that the public is strongly behind the initiative and that webcam abortions pose a danger to women’s health.
However, “The GOP initiative was immediately rebuffed by majority Senate Democrats, who contend the practice is no threat to women’s health and point out that a lawsuit over the issue is pending in Iowa’s courts,” according to the Des Moines Register’s William Petroski.
Sen. David Johnson (R) spoke at a Statehouse news conference in front of a large stack of petitions signed by thousands of Iowans opposed to “web-cam abortions,” Petroski wrote.
“This bill has huge support across the state. Iowans have weighed in,” said Johnson. Johnson cited two statewide polls which found a large majority of Iowans are opposed to telemedicine [webcam] abortions.
As NRL News Today reported last week, a Des Moines Register Iowa Poll found that a whopping 66% of Iowans oppose so-called “telemedicine abortions” to only 27% who support them.
No subgroup favored webcam abortions, which eliminates the presence of the abortionist altogether. Instead it relies on a computer hookup which allows a pregnant woman in some remote location to electronically interact with an abortionist back in Des Moines. A review of some medical records, a couple of questions, and the abortionist merely clicks a button to release a drawer at her location containing the abortifacient pills. The woman is given a hotline number to call if she has problems.
Click here to read the February/March issue of
National Right to Life News,
the “pro-life newspaper of record.”
Last week House File 2175 failed to meet the deadline to advance in the Senate. “However, under Senate rules, legislative leaders have authority to revive the legislation and allow a vote,” Petroski explained.
But Democrats were not interested in allowing a vote on a bill that is supported by 2/3rds of the public.
Board of Medicine opposes webcam abortions
On August 30, the Iowa Board of Medicine voted 8-2 in favor of new rules requiring that abortionists prescribing the abortion pill conduct a physical examination of the woman, be physically present when the drug is provided, and schedule a follow up to confirm completion of the abortion and evaluate the woman’s medical condition.
As for assertions that webcam abortions are safe, even under normal, circumstances (with the abortionist present), the chemical abortion process is generally painful, bloody, and protracted. Women taking these drugs have been hospitalized for hemorrhage, ruptured ectopic pregnancies, and infections, some of which have proven fatal. A number of women end up in surgery when the chemical method fails. And with webcam abortions, the abortionist can be anywhere but where the pregnant woman is.
As NRL News has reported, Iowa birthed webcam abortions. Since 2008 Planned Parenthood of the Heartland (PPH), which is expanding elsewhere in the country, has aborted over 5,000 women using the webcam abortion technique.
In just its first year offering web-cam abortions, the number of chemical abortions performed at PPH grew to exceed the number of surgical abortions by 2,582 to 2,210. Many of the new web-cam abortions were surely a part of that sad statistic.
PPH grows and grows and grows. It first swallowed up nearby smaller local affiliates. PPH announced a merger with PP of Nebraska and Council Bluffs in August 2009, another with PP E Central Iowa in December 2010, a merger with PP SW Iowa in May 2011, and in 2012 a merger with PP of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma. It’s announced plans to open six new clinics in Nebraska and another six in Iowa.