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Planned Parenthood Files Petition for Judicial Review, Requests Motion for a Stay

Contacts

Contact: Shelby Cloke – Public Relations Manager
(515) 235-0413 or (515) 249-6084
Shelby.Cloke@ppheartland.org


Published: | Updated: 09.30.13

Monday, Sept. 30, 2013 (DES MOINES, IA) – The Iowa Board of Medicine recently voted to restrict access to abortion in Iowa. This decision not only bans Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s telemedicine delivery system for medication abortion, it also requires unnecessary medical services prior to receiving medication abortion.

The Board of Medicine’s ruling was based on politics and will unjustly hurt Iowa women. Today, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and its medical director, Jill Meadows, MD, filed for judicial review of the rule in Polk County District Court and a motion for a stay, asking for the rule to be ineffective during litigation.

Statement from Planned Parenthood of the Heartland President and CEO Jill June:

“Our No. 1 priority is the health and safety of our patients. The decision by the Board of Medicine jeopardizes the health of women in our state and creates unnecessary barriers for a woman to obtain the safe health care she needs. This unwarranted decision only serves to delay receipt of quality health care. Planned Parenthood will not stand by and let this happen to our patients and the women of Iowa.

“It’s evident that this ruling was not based on the health and safety of women in our state – it was based on politics. There was no medical evidence or information presented to the Board that questions the safety of our telemedicine delivery system. It’s apparent that the goal of this rule is to eliminate abortion in Iowa, and it has nothing to do with the safety of telemedicine. The reality is, this rule will only make it more challenging for a woman to receive the safe health care she needs.

“Iowa women deserve to have access to the newest medical technologies and all of the heath care services they need, regardless of where they live.

“Planned Parenthood has been taking care of women and their families in Iowa for more than 75 years and we will continue to care for them – no matter what. We will stand up for Iowa women, and we will do all we can to make sure this arbitrary and capricious ruling does not stand.”

Statement from Planned Parenthood of the Heartland Medical Director Jill Meadows, MD:

“As medical director for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, it is my responsibility to ensure our patients receive the highest quality care at our health centers. This rule by the Iowa Board of Medicine puts the health and well-being of Iowa women in jeopardy and impedes my ability to offer safe health care in rural communities throughout this state.

“Over the past 5 years, our physicians have provided medication abortion through telemedicine to more than 3,000 women in Iowa. During that time we have received no patient complaints. Medication abortion is a very safe way to end a pregnancy before nine weeks. While the number of abortions in Iowa has not increased since we implemented our telemedicine program, the number of women accessing abortion before 14 weeks in pregnancy has. As a physician, I know that an abortion early in pregnancy is safer than an abortion later in pregnancy. The decision by the Board of Medicine will delay access to early abortion and compromise patient safety. This rule is not good medical practice and will put my patients and Iowa women at increased risk.

“Telemedicine delivery is a safe and effective way to provide medication abortion to Iowa women. This technology is being used to improve health care in a variety of fields, including reproductive health care. As a plaintiff in this case, I am confident the Court will see that the Board’s decision was not based on sound medical science, evidence or fact.”

If the rule goes into effect as scheduled on Nov. 6, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland will be forced to suspend telemedicine delivery for medication abortion at 15 health centers in Iowa.

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Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has served women and men of all ages since the 1930s. Today the agency offers a full range of quality reproductive health care services to residents in Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Oklahoma through 27 health centers and Education Resource Centers in Des Moines, Lincoln and Omaha.

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