Despite Greater Access, Iowa Abortions Drop Thirty Percent

When women have access to safe and affordable health care, abortion rates drop. WHODATHUNKIT? Now, some members of the Iowa Board of Medicine are trying to get telemedicine abortions — the practice partially credited for the decline — stopped because they say something just doesn't feel "right" about them. Hmm... maybe it's all those women making decisions about their own bodies that's giving him the heebie jeebies?

In 2008, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland installed a video conferencing that allowed doctors in Des Moines to dispense abortion pills to women in clinics across the state. This invaluable service made safe and legal abortions available in more remote areas of the state. But as opposed to what some armchair ob/gyn politicians think, they didn't make all the ladies start having abortions for fun. In fact, the numbers of abortions have dropped from 6,649 in 2007 to 4,648 in 2012. That's a thirty percent drop in just five years.

Now, the Iowa Board of Medicine is thinking of trying to end the practice — even though there hasn't been any complaints and the results are in the numbers. Although efforts to bar telemedicine abortions have failed in the state Legislature, a group of doctors petitioned the board in June to ban the practice in Iowa.

Dr. Thomas Ross, who works for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, testified today in favor of the practice. "I would call it safe. I would say the women and their families in Iowa are very fortunate that Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is offering this service to them," Ross said. "Please do not do anything that would interfere with this safe procedure."

Board Chairman Dr. Greg Hoversten said: "That really bothers me. Iowa women are the first ones to get this in this fashion. There's something wrong there. It doesn't seem right."

Okay, so we have facts on one side, and Hoversten's feeling that something "doesn't seem right" on the other.

According to Quad-City Times, the earliest the board could adopt new rules barring the practice would be at a meeting Friday, but Hoversten said he was not sure if a vote would happen then.

[USA Today, QC Times]

Photo via AP