Commentary by Cheryl Sullenger

Last week, the Iowa Medical Board notified Operation Rescue by letter that it had closed its complaint against Planned Parenthood’s telemed abortionist, Susan Haskell, without taking disciplinary action.
Before the ink was hardly dry on the letter, Jill Meadows, Medical Director for Planned Parenthood had published an article in the Dubuque Telegraph Herald trumpeting the desirability of the webcam abortions in a community where she hopes to expand the service.
What the public is not being told is that Planned Parenthood is cutting corners on safety protocols that endanger the health and safety of women in order to reduce their overhead costs and increase their bottom line. This cavalier attitude that puts monetary gain above the health and safety of women is disturbing.
Certainly it is a sweet deal for Meadows, who can sit in her cozy office in Des Moines pushing a button that releases abortion drugs to women without having to be bothered by driving across town to dispense the pills herself. In doing so, she is denying women access to a physical examination by a licensed physician that could detect health conditions that would contraindicate abortion.
In order to squeeze the last dime possible out of dispensing the abortion pill over the Internet, Planned Parenthood dangerously distributes the drugs to women who are two weeks past what the Food and Drug Administration deems “safe” for women. In addition, they reduce the number of FDA recommended office visits, decreasing opportunities to for the early detection of complications that have claimed the lives of eight woman and has been responsible for 1,100 serious complications nationwide.
Planned Parenthood continues to perpetuate the myth that their webcam abortions benefit women in rural areas without access to medical services. In truth, Planned Parenthood’s telemed abortion clinics are simply not located in rural areas. They are in places like Ankeny, a suburb of Des Moines, which is located in the highest populated county in Iowa. Another is in Ames, a robust college town with great access to legitimate, quality medical care. In fact, all of Planned Parenthood’s so-called “remote” locations are in communities that have ample medical services available for women — services that simply do not include the destruction of innocent babies.
When women do not have abortion businesses actively marketing abortions to them in their neighborhoods, they tend to reconsider abortion and instead make life-affirming decisions for their babies. We experienced this living in the now abortion-free community of Wichita, Kansas, where local pregnancy centers inform us that business is up, few women opt for abortion, and requests for adoption have quadrupled since the closure of the city’s last abortion clinic.
With America’s changing attitudes shifting away from support for abortion and with surgical abortion clinics closing in droves for lack of business, it is easy to see why the webcam abortion scheme is attractive to Planned Parenthood. It helps them increase access to customers without the expense of actually having to provide those customers with personal contact with qualified licensed medical personnel. It preys on vulnerable women who are susceptible to Planned Parenthood’s misleading marketing rhetoric.
So concerned is Congressman Steve King of Iowa about the dangers of telemed abortions that he has sent a letter asking his fellow Congressmen to join him in asking Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius if tax money is improperly going to fund them. The Nebraska legislature plans to introduce legislation today to ban telemed abortions in that state.
Certainly we had hoped that the Iowa Board of Medicine would step in to protect women from this dangerous abortion pill distribution scheme, but we are undeterred in our commitment to keep Planned Parenthood from expanding it. That is why Operation Rescue is working hard in Iowa to protect vulnerable women from exploitation by Planned Parenthood’s predatory remote-controlled abortion practices by supporting legislation that will prevent the distribution of the abortion pill via webcam. That is not “judging” women, as Meadows opines. It is helping them.
Read OR’s Special Report exposing Planned Parenthood’s so-called telemed abortions
Special thanks to Jill Stanek for providing the King letter