Women and Justice: Court: Supreme Court of Iowa

Domestic Case Law

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland Inc. v. Iowa Board of Medicine Supreme Court of Iowa (2015)

Gender discrimination

The Iowa Board of Medicine (“Board”) passed a rule of professional practice that prohibited telemedicine abortions, which are non-surgical abortions overseen by a medical practitioner via audio-visual connection. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland brought a claim against the Board citing that the prohibition of telemedicine abortions violated the equal protection clause by placing an undue burden on women seeking to exercise their right to terminate a pregnancy. The Iowa Supreme Court determined that the Board’s prohibition of telemedicine abortions would unduly limit rural women in Iowa from exercising their right to terminate a pregnancy. Additionally, the Court determined that the Board’s actions were politically motivated and did not constitute sound public policy given that trained professionals administered a physical examination and follow-up appointments were mandatory.