Louisiana bill looks to ban abortion via telemedicine

A bill that looks to ban telemedicine abortions--in which a doctor coaches a patient through taking an abortion pill via a video connection--was backed by Louisiana's Senate Health and Welfare Committee and sent to the Senate floor for debate, the Associated Press reports. Bill sponsor Sen. Fred Mills said that the "welfare and safety" of such patients should not come down to a doctor who's not present in a room with a patient.

A Planned Parenthood telemedicine program introduced four years ago in Iowa increased access to abortion in rural areas, but did not result in a corresponding increase in abortions statewide, according to an analysis published in November in the American Journal of Public Health.