VICTORY: Judge Upholds Iowa Webcam Abortion Ban Regulations

By Cheryl Sullenger

Des Moines, IA – Polk County District Judge Jeffrey Farrell ruled today that the Iowa Board of Medicine was acting within its proper authority when it banned the use of Planned Parenthood’s experimental “Webcam” abortion pill distribution process. This ruling will allow the implementation and enforcement of the webcam abortion ban in 30 days.

Planned Parenthood has said it will appeal today’s ruling.

“Operation Rescue has worked with other state and national pro-life groups since 2010 to bring an end to this dangerous abortion pill distribution racket that puts Planned Parenthood profits above the lives and health of women,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Today represents a long awaited victory for women and their babies.”

Webcam abortions enable an abortionist to remotely dispense abortion pills to patients in other cities without leaving a central office. The abortionist visits briefly for a short time with a patient via an internet video conferencing system then clicks a button on his computer that remotely opens a drawer in front of the patient containing the abortion pills.

The Board found that the lack of a physical examination by the dispensing abortionist fell well below patient care standards.

A report by the Des Moines Register elaborated:

The judge wrote that the board cited “legitimate reasons” to require physicians to perform an in-person physical examination before prescribing the abortion pills. He also wrote that if the procedure is no longer offered at satellite clinics, rural Iowa women would have to travel farther to obtain abortions, but he said this would not cause “undue hardship.”

However, despite Planned Parenthood’s claims, the outlying facilities operated by Planned Parenthood that currently use the dubious abortion pill distribution scheme are located in Iowa cities that have ample legitimate medical services available and are not in “rural” areas as Planned Parenthood claims.

In recent months, Planned Parenthood has voluntarily shut down webcam abortions in ten facilities. Nine offices still employ the now-banned pill distribution process.

Operation Rescue brought the webcam abortions to light after an undercover investigation in March, 2010, then exposed plans by Planned Parenthood Federation of America to expand the scheme into every one of their clinics nationwide, ironically during a protest of a Planned Parenthood fundraiser in Cedar Rapids. This would have represented the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade.

Since Planned Parenthood’s plans became public, 14 states have passed restrictions that require a licensed physician be present when abortion pills are dispensed, effectively banning the process of webcam abortion process. The planned national expansion of the webcam system has since been scuttled in the wake of the new state laws.

Read the Ruling

St. Louis Planned Parenthood Further Endangers Abortion Patient by Calling Slower Private Ambulance During Medical Emergency

Delaying emergency medical care unacceptably places lives at unnecessary risk

By Cheryl Sullenger

StL-ambulance 07102014St. Louis, MO – In what is becoming an all-too-familiar occurrence, pro-life sidewalk counselors snapped photos as an ambulance arrived to transport yet another patient from the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in St. Louis, Missouri. Planned Parenthood volunteers held up bed sheets as a covered woman was wheeled out of the abortion facility on a gurney in an attempt to prevent pro-life supporters from documenting the event.

This incident, which took place on July 10, 2014, boosts the number of known medical emergencies at the St. Louis Planned Parenthood site to 26 in the past five years.

This time, however, Planned Parenthood summoned a private ambulance company – instead of dialing 911 – to transport the patient to the hospital for emergency care that the abortion facility was not equipped to provide. This was likely done to conceal facts about the incident and prevent pro-life activists from uncovering the seriousness of the medical emergency through 911 records.

“Planned Parenthood has chosen to put their own interests ahead of getting this patient emergency medical assistance by the quickest means,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Delays in receiving emergency care can cost women’s lives. It is disgraceful that Planned Parenthood chose to place a woman’s life in jeopardy in order to protect what little reputation this abysmal abortion mill has left.”

Response times for private ambulance services are slower than when calling 911, and the calls placed to them are not subject to public records requests.

That change in emergency protocols is likely due to a lawsuit filed against the St. Louis Fire Department in May by the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of an Operation Rescue staff member. Operation Rescue sued to obtain public information that was over-zealously redacted from 911 records it had received through the Freedom of Information Act.

Operation Rescue originally sought the 911 call records for 25 incidents involving medical emergencies at the St. Louis Planned Parenthood dating back to 2009. Instead, 57 heavily redacted records were produced to Operation Rescue by the St. Louis Fire Department, hinting that there were many more medical emergencies than previously documented.

So extensive were the redactions that even the dates of the incidents had been expunged, which is a clear a violation of open records laws that require only the most minimal redactions be made and only on narrowly exempted information, such as patient names.

“Planned Parenthood may be afraid that if we win the lawsuit, information damaging to their abortion business will come out and their abortionists may then be held accountable. They would rather delay emergency care to women than allow that to happen,” said Newman. “Planned Parenthood must have a lot to hide.”

Axe to Grind? Massachusetts Governor with Ties to Planned Parenthood Defiant of Supreme Court Free Speech Ruling

By Cheryl Sullenger

Boston, MA – Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is urging the passage of a new state law that will restrict abortion protesters, calling the legislation “a pressing need” in the wake of the unanimous Supreme Court decision that struck down that state’s “buffer zone” law, which prevented pro-life speech within 35 feet of abortion facilities.

However, Patrick’s apparent panic over pro-lifers having their First Amendment rights restored likely stems from his radical pro-abortion agenda and his time as a Board Member of Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts.

“Lawmakers need to be aware that Patrick’s personal history with Planned Parenthood makes him prejudiced against pro-life speech. His twisted view of pro-life activists has tainted his perspective. He clearly has an axe to grind,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “The Supreme Court spoke clearly on the unconstitutionality of infringing on the First Amendment right of protesters. Now Patrick is at it again, trying to further limit pro-life speech at abortion facilities where women often want and appreciate the help offered by pro-life supporters. The women who need and want help to avoid abortions are the ones Patrick is hurting the most.”

Operation Rescue obtained documents that show Patrick sat on the Planned Parenthood Board in the early 1990’s. His name is prominently featured in Planned Parenthood’s Board Meeting minutes and on Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts letterhead.

One letter featuring Patrick as a Board Member, dated May 4, 1993, concerns a woman whose daughter may have suffered injuries at Planned Parenthood and received a refund for services rendered. [View Documents, esp. p. 3.]

Patrick, an African-American, is apparently unbothered by the racist roots of Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, who proposed abortion and birth control as a way to “exterminate the Negro population.” (Woman, Morality, and Birth Control. New York: New York Publishing Company, 1922. Page 12.)

“There can be no doubt that when women change their minds outside of abortion facilities and make decisions to continue their pregnancies, Planned Parenthood loses money. It seems that Patrick is more concerned about Planned Parenthood’s bottom line than he is about truly helping women, especially women of color who are disproportionally targeted for abortion,” said Newman. “Denying pro-life supporters their constitutionally protected rights to further his abortion agenda is stepping far over the line and is an abuse of his position as governor.”

The bill, which has been fast-tracked by Gov. Patrick and passed the State Senate last week at his personal urging, would allow police to disperse pro-life protesters if they receive complaints and ban them from within 25 feet of abortion facilities for eight hours.

“The proposed law is subjective and prone to abuse. Of course abortion clinic workers will complain all day long. At some point, abortion facilities and their acolytes, such as Gov. Patrick, need to understand that abortion facilities simply do not get to abuse the rights of others and are not above the law,” said Newman.

While pro-life protesters and sidewalk counselors are mischaracterized as “violent” or “aggressive,” Eleanor McCullen, the lead petitioner in the Supreme Court case told news reporters that kind of behavior is not beneficial.

“Our mission is there for the woman first. Then, of course, we’re the voice for the unborn child. And I’m not about to aggravate and say, let’s get a little closer to the door. That’s counterproductive,” she said.

“It is clear that Gov. Patrick is trying to do an end-around the Supreme Court decision and the Constitution by wrongly vilifying pro-life sidewalk counselors in order to protect the flow of money into the abortion cartel in his state,” said Newman. “In the interest of full disclosure, his ties to Planned Parenthood abortion businesses should be known before the State House of Representatives acts in response to Patrick’s personal – and blatantly unconstitutional — biases.”