Ibis research cited in The New Yorker

February 2014

February 17, 2014 – As restrictions on abortion continue to mount in state and federal legislatures, we were pleased to see Margaret Talbot’s recent comment, “Counting the Numbers,” in February’s Anniversary Issue of The New Yorker, call them out for what they are. Citing a recent Guttmacher article, as well as our work on telemedicine, Ms. Talbot points out the contradiction between the policies currently pushed by Republican legislators and the outcomes they claim to promote, writing that, “when conservatives attack the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act, or federally funded family-planning programs, they are working against the forces that are rendering abortion less common.”

One example she provides as evidence of this disconnect is the recent ban on telemedicine abortion provision in Iowa. In 2008 Ibis evaluated Planned Parenthood of the Heartland's telemedicine service in the state and found that telemedicine provision of medication abortion improved access to women living in rural areas and did not increase the number of abortions. Further, women who choose telemedicine were satisfied with the service. However, last summer, the Iowa Board of Medicine decided to end the program and while litigation surrounding that decision is ongoing, the Iowa House has voted to ban telemedicine abortion provision in the state.

Talbot sums up her article stating that Republicans’ actions “Undermining contraception and early abortion sabotages the future that most people want, one that expresses both their values and their common sense: fewer unintended pregnancies and fewer abortions, too.” Ibis looks forward to investigating and exposing these examples of anti-choice claims-making in the future.