State board could vote on abortion pill system

The Iowa Board of Medicine could soon vote on new rules barring the practice of distributing abortion-inducing pills via a video-conferencing system.

The board is set to meet Friday. The abortion pill rules are on the agenda and could come up for a vote. A public hearing was held on the issue Wednesday.

Activists opposed to abortion rights want to halt a long-distance video system used by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. It lets doctors deliver pills to patients in clinics around Iowa after a video consultation.

Opponents of the practice say it’s dangerous because patients don’t see a doctor in person and may not get follow-up care. But Planned Parenthood of the Heartland officials say the system helps women in remote areas and that they have received no complaints.