Judge Upholds Ban on Webcam Abortions in Iowa

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Pro-lifers won a big victory in Iowa, Tuesday, after a judge upheld a ban on webcam abortions.

The Polk County District Court judge ruled that the Iowa Board of Medicine was within its authority to ban webcam abortions last year.

The board voted to ban a first-in-the-nation videoconferencing system which enabled Des Moines doctors to dispense abortion drugs to women in rural clinics, the Des Moines Register reported.

The judge wrote that "there is no question that the board has the power to establish standards of practice for the medical profession."

Planned Parenthood sued the Iowa Board of Medicine, claiming the ban was a deliberate attempt to limit rural women's access to abortions. 

But critics like Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The Family Leader, said the ruling in favor of the board was an attempt to protect women.

"This is an important advance in protecting women from this dangerous practice. We are grateful to know that the lives of women all across Iowa will not be put at risk," he said.

"Some have tried to make this about politics, but the Iowa Board of Medicine put the health and safety of women first, no matter where they live in Iowa," he said.

The judge's recent ruling will take effect in 30 days.

A Planned Parenthood spokeswoman said her agency has plans to file a legal appeal.

"While the board of medicine claims it is acting to protect women's safety and health, its true purpose is to prevent women from receiving an abortion if and when they need one. And the rule would actually jeopardize women's health by delaying their care," Penny Dickey, the agency's chief operating officer, said in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, Plaats has asked that Christians remain in prayer.

"Please be in prayer as the plaintiffs have vowed to appeal the decision," Plaats requested.

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