Read the backstory here.
On May 21 IA Public Radio reported:
telemed abortions ifrl.jpg

… Clinics around the country have been inquiring about the [abortion telemed] system, and already Planned Parenthood of East Central IA will also be signing on, making abortion available for the first time at their clinics in Cedar Rapids and Dubuque, which lack full-time physicians on staff.
[PPECI] Dir. of Patient Services Barbara Chadwick says it’s the goal of PP to expand abortion services at its clinics nationwide over the next 5 years….

“We have been looking at initiating abortion service as a core service of all PPs, part of the Federation’s strategic plan for 2015.”
Medical abortions, Chadwick says, will be a key element in that strategy, and signing up for the long distance option will get her organization toward the goal faster….

If you listen to the news story, you’ll hear Chadwick herself speaking. Add that to what PP CEO Cecile Richards said in a May 20 interview with the Iowa Independent:

… I think telemedicine is an incredibly important advance, particularly for women in rural areas…. It’s very safe and very effective. It’s an incredibly important option for women who decide to terminate a pregnancy.

And what former PP director Abby Johnson wrote in a May 30 op ed:

Two years ago, I went to a National Abortion Federation meeting and listened to a nurse from PP of the Heartland brag about the new telemed abortion method. He said it would revolutionize the way medical abortions were conducted, starting in IA and then expanding throughout the nation.

The plan seems clear. But not so fast. Apparently Chadwick let the cat out of the bag before PP had properly greased the skids. PP’s PR machine wasn’t yet prepared for the ensuing uproar, so all it could do at this point was back away. According to on May 28:

A misstatement last week by a PP representative about abortions has set off a firestorm of response from abortion opponents.
Contrary to statements made last week to a public radio reporter, there are no plans to offer the “telemedicine program” (a teleconference-based delivery of drugs to end a pregnancy) in Dubuque, according to PP.
“Chadwick misspoke when she said that telemedicine abortion would be available in the Dubuque and Cedar Rapids health centers,” said Jenifer Vick, director of development and communications for PPECI. “She was speaking broadly, that telemedicine is the way medical care is moving in the country.”…

Well, no, that’s not what Chadwick said at all.
And apparently Vick backed away too far. She should never have said there were “no plans” to offer telemed abortions, because PP could rightfully be called a liar when plans it knows it has are unveiled.
So PP had to follow up Vick’s retraction with a half-retraction. According to on June 6:

The group issued a news release that states, “It’s not that PPECI wouldn’t like to have specific plans to provide abortion care to women in need – it’s just that there is not currently a blueprint developed as to how exactly that could take place….
“There are many considerations that would need to take place before implementing this service – for example, approval by the PPECI Board of Directors is one action that would have to take place, and that has not happened,” the release states….
“I thought it was inappropriate to have any discussion with media regarding any future possibilities of offering the provision of abortion services unless plans were in place,” said… Vick…. “That foundation has not been developed.”

Riiiight. Keep dancing.
[Graphic via IL Federation for the Right to Life]

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