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Judge Backs Abortion Pill System Ban

DES MOINES, IA (AP) -- A Polk County district judge says Iowa regulators had the authority to ban video conferencing to distribute abortion-inducing pills.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland had sued the Iowa Board of Medicine, saying the ban reflected board members' opposition to abortion. The Des Moines Register says Judge Jeffrey Farrell ruled in favor of the board on Tuesday, saying the board had authority to regulate such issues and had met legal requirements for making new rules.

The new rules require a doctor to be physically present with a woman when an abortion-inducing drug is provided. The change targeted Planned Parenthood's practice of enabling doctors to prescribe the drugs while meeting with patients in rural areas through an Internet video connection.

A Planned Parenthood spokeswoman said her agency would file an appeal.

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