Consensus! Telemedicine should not be used for abortions.

By Jenifer Bowen

The Register’s editorial staff finds it “baffling” that Iowans are overwhelmingly against webcam abortions, as evidenced by the Register’s own poll [“Telemedicine Is Much More Than Abortion in Our State” editorial, March 14]. Let me make it less baffling:

• Iowans aren’t against telemedicine or technology. They’re against using telemedicine to send a woman home to hemorrhage and deal with the body of their dead baby with no medical support for complications.
• Planned Parenthood is not being truthful when they say there are no complaints or complications. The Register should ask Planned Parenthood of the Heartland staff how many occurrence reports they have written on their 5,000+ webcam abortions. In Iowa, Planned Parenthood is not required to report these complications to the state. In Ohio, where there is such a law, Planned Parenthood’s reports showed many women having follow-up surgical abortions because the medication abortions were incomplete.
• While robotic arms are common in surgical centers throughout Iowa, there aren’t any examples of Iowans having surgery by robotic arms through telemedicine. If there were, you can guarantee there would be physician support for follow-up emergency care. The Register says, “A follow-up exam ensures the pregnancy was terminated.” Who does the follow-up exam? Who does the second abortion when the pregnancy is not terminated?

The Register’s editorial staff is entitled to their opinion. But they owe Iowans the facts. Kudos to the Register’s news staff for reporting the poll results showing there is one thing Republicans, Democrats and independents agree on — telemedicine should not be used for abortions.
[Jenifer Bowen is Executive Director of Iowa Right to Life. This letter appeared in the Des Moines Register this morning.]