Ibis statement on Iowa state supreme court ruling on telemedicine

June 2015

Ibis Reproductive Health was very pleased to hear that the Iowa state supreme court ruled in favor of women’s access to high quality health care today. Ibis Reproductive Health research shows telemedicine provision of medication abortion is safe and effective, and women have reported that they find telemedicine care acceptable. We applaud this decision and hope that legislatures and courts across the US will follow the lead of the Iowa Supreme Court and ensure women have affordable and accessible access to abortion care, no matter where they live.

“Telemedicine can play a critical role in increasing access to many types of health care, including emergency medicine, HIV treatment, mental health, prenatal care, and dermatology services among others,” said Kelly Blanchard, President of Ibis Reproductive Health. “We are committed to continuing to show how this and other health care innovations can expand access to high-quality abortion care and hope to see more of these unfounded telemedicine bans struck down.”

Between 2008 and 2013, Ibis Reproductive Health worked with Planned Parenthood of the Heartland to evaluate the telemedicine provision of medication abortion in Iowa and found the service to be safe, effective, and acceptable to women. Our studies showed that providing medication abortion through telemedicine had comparable clinical outcomes to face-to-face provision with equivalent success rates and a low prevalence of adverse events. Additionally, we found that while satisfaction with their abortion care was high among all patients (91% reported they were ‘very satisfied’), telemedicine patients were more likely to report they would recommend the service to a friend compared with women who met with their doctor in person.