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Web Cam Abortions Expand RU 486 Abortions Dramatically in Iowa
By Barbara Lyons, Executive Director Wisconsin Right to Life
Editor's note. Yesterday NRL News Today ran an excellent critique of what happened in Iowa when "webcam" abortions were introduced. ("Study shows that telemedicine expands abortion access in Iowa.") Today Barbara Lyons, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life, continues the discussion and concludes by noting that this has not spread to Wisconsin, thanks to legislative action which requires that a woman seeking an RU486 abortion be seen 'in person' by the individual performing the abortion and that in-person administration of the RU486 abortion pill take place.� Just as I was about to post her story, I learned that Planned Parenthood was challenging the law in court.
Iowa is the state where Planned Parenthood of the Heartland introduced webcam abortions as a pilot program with the intent of spreading this practice nationwide.� The goal:� increase the number of abortions in rural America.
What is a "webcam" abortion?� Here's the way it works in Iowa.�� The abortionist is in Des Moines and the woman seeking the abortion is at a Planned Parenthood family planning facility in -- say -- Storm Lake.� The abortionist and the woman talk about the abortion via web cam.�� The woman has not been physically examined by a doctor and there is no doctor present.�
After the perfunctory "counseling," the abortionist pushes a button in Des Moines.�� A drawer opens at the Storm Lake clinic which contains the RU 486 abortion pill and the prostaglandin pill that expels the dead baby from the mother's body.� The woman then takes the RU 486 pill while the abortionist watches via a video conferencing system.
A new study published in the American Journal of Public Health analyzes the use of webcam abortions (referred to as "telemedicine") in Iowa and concludes:� "[T]he proportion of abortions in the [Planned Parenthood] clinics that were medical increased from 46% to 54% after telemedicine was introduced....women living farther than 50 miles from the nearest clinic offering surgical abortion were more likely to obtain an abortion after telemedicine introduction."��� Because webcam abortions were being phased in as this study was taking place, the extent of web cam abortions may actually be higher.
As a comparison, RU486 abortions in Iowa comprise 45.3% of all abortions.� In Wisconsin, RU486 abortions comprise 24% of all abortions.
Webcam abortions continue in Iowa and have spread to Rochester, Minnesota and other locations.� Here's the great news -- NOT IN WISCONSIN.�
In one of the most important laws enacted in Wisconsin under the leadership of Wisconsin Right to Life, webcam abortions are prohibited in our state.�� Many thanks again to State Senator Mary Lazich and State Rep. Michelle Litjens for authoring and leading the charge to enact this important life-saving, woman-protecting law.
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