By Maggie DeWitte, Executive Director of Iowans for L.I.F.E.

Maggie DeWitte

Have we gone too far?

In this world of rapidly advancing medical technology, the need exists to frequently step back and look honestly at what the possible outcome of each new advancement might be.

That certainly is the case for the telemedicine abortion scheme being tested on Iowans across the state of Iowa by Planned Parenthood.  Recently, several pro-life and pro-family organizations brought this issue to the forefront by presenting a letter to the Iowa Board of Medicine regarding this push-button medicine during their August 20th board meeting.  Nearly 60 groups within Iowa and across the country signed onto this letter stating that telemedicine abortion is an unsafe practice and should be stopped immediately.

The Des Moines Register wrote an editorial on September 5th entitled, “Telemedicine should help expand care, not limit choice,” and unfortunately gave readers an inaccurate commentary on what the real focus of our letter to the Board of Medicine was about.

The coalition of groups that came together had one issue in mind – telemedicine abortion.  The use of telemedicine in general is not the issue, and if used safely is of great benefit to many people in rural areas.

The opening line of this article states: “Some anti-choice groups will try anything to prevent women from having access to abortions.”  Yes, our group wants to prevent abortion, but our concern that day was the safety and welfare of women.  Such an important and life-changing decision needs to be made with a physician, face-to-face, so the physician can assess her physical and mental health, review her options, and make sure she understands the serious side effects of this action physically, mentally, and emotionally.

This is a women’s health issue.  Pro-life groups are often falsely accused of only caring about the baby. This issue illustrates that we do care about women and want them to be safe and healthy.   If we follow the Anti-life mantra of making abortion safe, rare and legal, we are disregarding their first tenet.  Telemedicine abortion is not safe, pure and simple.

RU-486 (mifepristone) is a dangerous and unsafe drug.  According to 2006 FDA figures, this abortion drug has killed at least 13 women worldwide and injured 1,100 in the United States.  This is not something that should be administered to women of Iowa with nary a physician present as the Register contends.  Telemedicine abortion is not about expanding access to health care to women in rural areas; it is about expanding the pocketbook of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and in the process endangering the lives of our children, sisters, and mothers across this state.

The Des Moines Register states that our “only agenda is to take a step backward when it comes to women’s reproductive rights.”  If the Des Moines Register Editorial staff had bothered to contact our group regarding this article, they would have been able to truthfully report on our agenda that day.  We are an organization whose vision is to educate Iowans on the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death.  The sanctity of human life includes the women of Iowa who are being tested with this telemedicine abortion scheme.  Their reproductive rights include safe procedures, not dispensing RU-486 by a video and sending these women on their way with no preparation for what has happened or what will happen in the privacy of their home.

No Comments

  1. maxine bechtel on September 24, 2010 at 7:53 am

    amen! I also read with chagrin the Register’s Sept. 5 editorial, touting Planned Parenthood’s latest innovation–“telemed” abortions! Obviously, the Register recognizes that Planned Parenthood is skirting our law that the dangerous RU486 abortion pill is to be personally administered by a physician and NOT via an electronic image! The Register’s editorial admonishes our lawmakers to change the law by saying,“… Planned Parenthood (PP) of the Heartland has used telemedicine as it was intended: to expand access to legal health services in rural Iowa. The challenge of that approach should prompt state leaders to update laws and policies – to give Iowans increased access to health care, including abortion, through the use of technology.” QUESTION: Why are the powers-that-be looking the other way and giving PP a pass in this issue, allowing them to sidestep the law while touting their practices as “healthcare”?? The Democrat Pro-“choice” stranglehold in Iowa and in WA have forced taxpayer-funded abortion on us while Planned Parenthood lines its already bulging pockets with OUR money! But more tragic than that, they are cavalierly murdering hundreds and thousands more members of our future generation! The VERY BEST solution to preventing unwanted pregnancies is simple! It works flawlessly every time it’s tried! It’s called ABSTINENCE!

    It is so hypocritical to sing the “Woman’s right to choose” when the little “women” and “men” in the womb have NO “choice” whatsoever!

  2. Theresa Dowd on September 24, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Great article, Maggie! No surprise that the DMR didn’t print it. You made your points eloquently and sensibly. Thanks to Tom for posting it on his blog.

  3. Rhonda Phillips on September 24, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Without Life everything else is moot. It is the duty of every person who claims to be pro-life to take a stand, speak up and take action and support the Cause through volunteering to hit the pavement and do something! Throwing money at the Cause is all well and good and believe me, pro-life groups need funding. But, we the pro-life people, must also take ACTION. We have abortion today, after nearly 38 years because The Church leaders have done little or nothing. Well folks. It’s not only up to your Pastor or Priest to stand in the pulpit and call for action. YOU are God’s hands, feet, eyes, ears and mouth! We must stop entertaining ourselves and get busy!! When the press conference was held in front of the Iowa Board of Medine regarding web-cam abortions only about 30 people showed up. Why? Finding people to regularly pray in front of Planned Parenthood is nearly impossible! If any do pray it’s only one or two! Why? Finding volunteers to help sort books at the Iowa Right to Life warehouse is difficult. Yet, Planned Parenthood, down the street, has 20-30 cars their daily! Why? The Gay lobby has hundreds who attend their functions. When we protested gay unions at the State House only about 200 showed. Why? The Des Moines Register is mostly make up of Liberals. Can’t we have a Conservative newspaper?
    Why is there in-fighting between the pro-life groups? Aren’t we all in this together??
    Four-thousand people are dying in this country by abortion everyday while Satan keeps us busy and otherwise arguing or occupied.
    Sorry if I’m a bit heated. But, the Pro-Life Book Sale just ended and the only real crowds we saw was on Friday and Saturday…half-price and $2.00 a bag sales. Yet, many many people tell us how happy they are that we have a prolife book sale! If that is so then please….support it!
    We can Say we are pro-life till the cows come home. But action speaks louder than words. SO LETS GET BUSY! TODAY!
    Rhonda Phillips
    Iowa Right to Life

Leave a Comment