Iowa Supreme Court allows telemedicine abortion program to go on

Via Reuters:

The Iowa Supreme Court has rejected a state rule requiring doctors to see abortion patients in person, ruling that a regional Planned Parenthood unit may continue administering abortion-inducing medications using remote video technology.

The unanimous decision by six justices released on Friday said the rule violated the state’s constitution and placed an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions because Planned Parenthood had only three clinics and that many women would need to drive hundreds of miles to reach the clinics.

The rule was passed in July 2013 by the Iowa Board of Medicine, which regulates the practice of medicine in the state, requiring doctors to physically be with patients when they administer abortion-inducing drugs. The rule effectively banned telemedicine abortion, in which a doctor instructs a patient to take the drugs over a two-way video connection.