Iowa Medical Board Investigates Planned Parenthood Clinic -- At Request of Abortion-Clinic Bomber
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To date, more than 1500 women have used Planned Parenthood of the Heartland's telemedicine program for medical abortions; while it's currently the only state to offer this service, Dr. Vanessa Cullins, Vice President for Medical Affairs at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, says that PPFA is open to using telemedicine in other locales.
"There is the potential for telemedicine practices to expand," she wrote in an email. "But there are many factors that each affiliate would have to consider, including the needs of the local population and state and local laws."
Still, Cullins continues, "we're encouraged by the response this service has received in Iowa. An independent researcher surveyed 200 patients who used the telemedicine system and 200 who were given the abortion pills in person from a physician. Ninety-four percent of women who received their pills through telemedicine were 'very satisfied' with their experience."
What's more, less than 0.5 percent of women using medication experience serious complications. And, since the pills are widely and successfully used in other parts of the world -- 80 percent of early abortions in France and 43 percent in England are terminated with mifeprex and misoprostol -- the potential expansion of medical abortion throughout the U.S. is undoubtedly causing OR a great deal of angst.
In their end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it projection, the landscape is teeming with dead fetuses. "If abortionists are allowed to dispense abortion drugs at the push of a button," OR howls, "an abortionist sitting in an office miles away could kill hundreds of babies before lunch time."
Let's hope the Iowa Board of Medicine sees it differently.
Eleanor J. Bader is a teacher, freelance writer and activist from Brooklyn, NY. She is also the co-author of Targets of Hatred: Anti-Abortion Terrorism , St. Martin's Press, 2001.