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Published On: Sat, Mar 14th, 2015

Planned Parenthood battling webcam abortion use and requirement for doctor being present

Oral arguments in the Iowa Supreme Court for Planned Parenthood v. Iowa Board of Medicine. Thomas More Society’s amicus brief, filed with the Iowa Supreme Court in November, 2014, argued that the Iowa Constitution does not provide a right to abortion.

In August, 2013, the Iowa Board of Medicine voted 8-2 that a physician must be physically present when administering abortion drugs, rather than simply pushing a button at a remote location to provide the drugs after only a video consultation. The new rule prohibited the practice of webcam abortions, which allowed a woman to take abortion-inducing drugs without being physically examined by a doctor before or after the procedure.

Planned Parenthood supporters at protest 2011 photo/S. MiRK via wikimedia commons

Planned Parenthood supporters at protest 2011 photo/S. MiRK via wikimedia commons

Planned Parenthood appealed the Medical Board’s ruling, but in August, 2014, Polk County District Court Judge Jeffrey Farrell upheld the ban on webcam abortions.

Planned Parenthood appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court, arguing that the rule was passed by the Iowa Board of Medicine without properly following administrative procedures and that abortion should be considered a fundamental right under the Iowa constitution.

Thomas More Society filed a Friend-of-the-Court (amicus) brief with the Iowa Supreme Court supporting the Iowa Board of Medicine’s decision to ban webcam abortions. Contrary to Planned Parenthood’s claims, the Society’s brief demonstrates that abortion has never been a fundamental right under the Iowa Constitution. The brief, authored by Attorneys Matthew Heffron and Christine Delgado, was filed on behalf of the Catholic Medical Association, Des Moines and Quad Cities Guilds; Iowans for Life; and Women’s Choice Center, Quad Cities.

More details about this case:

Read Thomas More Society’s amicus brief, filed with the Iowa Supreme Court, here.

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