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Branstad Considering "Best Course of Action" on Abortion Ruling

John Pemble
IPR file photo
Governor Branstad says he'll be reviewing an Iowa Supreme Court decision regarding telemed abortion.

It appears that Governor Branstad is not ruling out an appeal of Friday’s Iowa Supreme Court ruling clearing the way for continued use of so-called telemed abortions.  

The court ruled that the Iowa Board of Medicine placed an unconstitutional burden on women when it banned the administration of abortion-inducing drugs without a doctor in the room. 

Under the procedure, a doctor uses two-way telecommunication to oversee a patient taking an abortion-inducing drug. Governor Branstad disagrees with the ruling.

“I was very disappointed in the court decision,” Branstad says. “We're going to be reading, reviewing and analyzing that and determining what is the best course of action for us to take."

But legal experts say appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court would be an uphill battle because the ruling relies on the Iowa Constitution.

“I respect the fact that they’re a separate branch of government,” Branstad says.  “I haven't had the chance to review this in great detail.  But I am disappointed in this decision.”

Governor Branstad appointed members of the Board of Medicine who tried to ban telemed abortions.  He also appointed several of the justices who ruled unanimously against the Board of Medicine.

Branstad says he would not take a position if critics of the ruling try to get the justices thrown off the bench in the next retention election.