The ACLU of Iowa filed a friend of the court brief in this important case that assures the ability of rural women and others to use this safe and legal procedure.

June 19, 2015

Today the Iowa Supreme Court handed down an important ruling that allows Planned Parenthood of the Heartland to continue to provide women in various locations throughout Iowa access to safe and legal medication abortion through the use of telemedicine technology, a victory in which the ACLU of Iowa was proud to play a part.

"The decision is important because the ban was an extreme form of political interference with the ability of a woman, particularly in rural Iowa, to make a private health decision to access a safe and legal procedure,” said Rita Bettis, ACLU of Iowa legal director.

Medication abortions were approved by the FDA 20 years ago and consist of consuming two pills. A little over half of all abortions in the U.S. are medication abortions. 

In 2010, the Iowa Board of Medicine determined that the telemedicine system to prescribe abortion medication was consistent with prevailing standards of medical care. In 2013, the Iowa governor replaced all individual board members and the board then banned the use of telemedicine to access abortion, reversing the board's prior determination. Today the Court determined that banning the use of telemedicine for abortion medication created an "undue burden" on Iowans to get an abortion before viability. 

The ACLU of Iowa filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case in support of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s challenge of the ban. The brief argued that a woman’s right to make her own decision about childbirth and pregnancy is a fundamental right protected by the Iowa Constitution. 

Click here to read a New York Times article on this nationally important win.