By Dave Andrusko
As we approach the end of the day, let me end by analyzing a tedious, repetitious, not to mention poorly reasoned editorial by the pro-abortion-to-the-hilt Des Moines Register. For all its faults, it is addressing a hugely important subject.
As do all abortion advocates, the Register’s editorial board insists that abortion is a subset of “health care,” or, put another way that webcam abortions are a legitimate expression of “telemedicine.” And, to be fair, after reading their editorials and their news stories over time, you could actually come away convinced they really don’t understand why the Iowa Board of Medicine fails to see webcam abortions as a wonderful example of telemedicine.
What is the current legal status, alluded to in the editorial? Polk County District Court Judge Jeffrey Farrell upheld a 2013 decision by the Iowa Board of Medicine which declared that Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s use of webcam abortions was unsafe. Soon afterwards, the Iowa Supreme Court granted a last-minute stay. As a result, for now at least, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland (PPH) can continue to use a system in place since 2008.
The Sunday editorial frontloads the argument in two ways. First, they love retiring pro-abortion Sen. Tom Harkin, whom, they write, “announced that the University of Iowa will receive a $500,000 federal grant to further its use of telemedicine.” As a result, “Video-conferencing services at dozens of sites will help connect specialists with Iowans in rural areas. Children and the elderly will be among those able to access the same health.”
Thus, second, since the Iowa Board of Medicine would require abortionists to see the woman in person and perform physical examinations before dispensing abortifacients and to conduct in-person follow-up visits, you must really be against “using technology to deliver health services in rural areas.”
Get it? If you oppose webcam abortions which are simply dangerous and are intended to multiple the number of abortions—including unsafe abortions—the inference is you’re on the wrong side of the interests of children and the elderly. These people are shameless.
Here are just a couple of interesting factoids from the editorial. “Last year, at the urging of anti-abortion advocates, board members singled out a few physicians using video-conferencing to dispense a legal, abortion-inducing drug.”
Those “few physicians” have already been able to abort over 6,400 babies. And, to repeat, the objective is to greatly expand the outreach to “underserved” areas.
That is why the case is potentially hugely important for the Abortion Industry. Using a video-conferencing system, a single abortionist could “supervise” many, many times the number of women he could actually abort, were he to be required to be in her presence. The added revenue is staggering.
One other remark from the editorial: “The board [of Medicine]’s new rules do not require physicians providing any other health service to conduct ‘in person’ exams or to be present when patients swallow thousands of other drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”
Well, for one thing, “Abortion-inducing drugs are not over the counter medications,” as the state lawyers wrote. “Unless and until such a time when abortion-inducing drugs are no longer required to be dispensed by physicians, physicians must do so within the confines of the standard of care. The Board of Medicine determined the standard of care requires a physical examination prior to dispensing abortion-inducing drugs.”
And, for another thing, no other drug has the intended purpose of killing someone, a small detail to the Register, but significant to anyone with an open mind. And it’s not just unborn children who die.
As NRLC’s Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon has explained in great detail (see “Iowa Board of Medicine considering new rules governing web-cam abortions”), there are serious questions about the safety for women of web-cam abortions.
An April 30, 2011, FDA “Mifepristone U.S. Postmarketing Adverse Events Summary” found more than 2,200 “adverse events” associated with use of the abortion drugs, including 14 women in the U.S. who died. Women taking the drug were hospitalized with ruptured ectopic pregnancies, blood loss requiring transfusions, and infections that proved deadly in at least seven cases. This is much more serious than simply taking an aspirin suggested by a nurse over the phone. And these numbers are from more than 3 ½ years ago.
“Given what we know about the all too real dangers of chemical abortions for both their intended and unintended victims, no one should be doing them, but least of all, some video doctor from hundreds of miles away who has never physically examined his patient and won’t be anywhere near if something goes wrong,” Dr. O’Bannon told NRL News Today.