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Medical Board Complaints Demand End to 'Telemed Abortions'

by Staff
April 9, 2010
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DES MOINES, Iowa, ( -- Operation Rescue has filed formal complaints with the Medical Board of Iowa asking for an investigation into dangerous "telemed abortion" and asking the Board to stop allowing abortions without a licensed physician on site and discipline those involved. Separate complaints were filed against abortionist Susan Haskell and her employer, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.

Operation Rescue released a report on the "telemed abortion" last week detailing how Planned Parenthood is keeping open small, doctor-less clinics using a teleconferencing hook up whereby an abortionist appears on a computer monitor and explains the medical abortion procedure to patients. The drugs are then dispensed at the clinic by employees. The patient is never physically examined by a licensed physician at any time. This scheme allows the abortionist to never leave her office in Des Moines, yet Planned Parenthood bills insurance companies over 2 ' times the national average cost for similar abortions.

This is lack of direct access to a licensed physician is of concern since medical abortions using RU486, also known as Mifepristone, and its counterpart, Methotrexate, have a 7-20% failure rate. At least 13 women have died from medical abortions and over 1,100 have suffered serious complications.

Operation Rescue's complaint details four areas of concern:

1. Violation of the law requiring that a licensed physician only may do abortions in Iowa.

2. Planned Parenthood protocols deviate from FDA- approved protocols by eliminating visits along with other safety precautions.

3. Deviation from FDA protocols and lack of an onsite licensed physician presents unacceptable health and safety risks to women.

4. Insurance companies are overbilled at twice the price of cash patients, which is an unethical financial practice that raises the cost of health care.

"We have made attempts to inquire about the legality of these 'telemed abortions' from the Iowa Medical Board for at least two weeks, without adequate response. In fact, we have been put off. Therefore, we had no choice but to file a formal complaint in order to get their attention so that women can be protected from this outrageous and dangerous abortion scheme," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.

About Operation Rescue®
Operation Rescue is one of the leading pro-life Christian activist organizations in the nation and has become a strong voice for the pro-life movement in America. Operation Rescue is now headquartered in a former abortion clinic that it bought and closed in 2006. From there, Operation Rescue launches its innovative new strategies across the nation, exposing and closing abortion clinics through peaceful, legal means. Its activities are on the cutting edge of the abortion issue, taking direct action to stop abortion and ultimately restore legal personhood to the pre-born in obedience to biblical mandates.

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