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House Oks Ban on Remote Abortion Pill System

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Lawmakers in the Iowa House have voted in favor of a bill that bars remote distribution of abortion pills to pregnant women in Iowa.

In a 55-42 vote Tuesday, the Republican-majority House endorsed the bill. It now moves to the Democratic-controlled Senate, where it is unlikely to advance.

The bill would prohibit the use of webcams or teleconferencing as a means of dispensing abortion-inducing drugs to patients in remote locations. Under the legislation, women seeking an abortion must be in the presence of a physician when receiving the pills.

Republican Rep. Kevin Koester, of Ankeny, says the telemedicine practice is not safe.

But Democratic Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, of Ames, argues that the bill is an attempt to restrict access to abortion in Iowa.

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