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The Iowa Supreme Court granted a last minute stay to Planned Parenthood of the Heartland September 16 allowing its webcam abortion program to continue in Iowa until the court issues a ruling in a case being watched nationally for its implications on the availability of telemed abortion.

In August, a Polk County district judge upheld the Iowa Board of Medicine’s decision to require a physician be present when an abortion is performed in accordance with Iowa law.

Planned Parenthood appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court, asking for a hold on the ruling, which was to go into effect September 17.

The abortion behemoth argued the rule constitutes a hardship for women seeking an abortion in in communities without an abortionist, resulting in the need to travel for the procedure.

Webcam abortion involves the physician dispensing abortion-inducing drugs to the expectant mother in her remote location. Should the mother experience complications in the delivery of her child, she is left without medical attention, at great risk to her health.

The remote abortifacient dispensing scheme has long been criticized by pro-life advocates across the country for its danger to women.

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Instances reported of Planned Parenthood advising its webcam abortion customers to report to the nearest emergency room in the case of complications and tell physicians there it was the result of a miscarriage underscored the assertion the abortion giant was protecting its profits in a system being tested in Iowa prior to nationwide distribution.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland stated in its August appeal that webcam abortion is extremely safe and effective, with no evidence of any safety risk whatsoever and not a single patient complaint.

But Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue Cheryl Sullenger told LifeSiteNews at the time that medication abortions have as much as a 20 percent failure rate, depending on the age of the unborn child when the abortion is attempted.

Sullenger told LifeSiteNews as well there are no hard stats on complications suffered in Iowa during the webcam abortion process because the state has no abortion reporting laws. 

The fact that the abortionist has no personal contact with the patient and cannot physically examine her is below accepted medical standards, she said.

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