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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

(File Photo: Lynda Waddington/The Iowa Independent)
(File Photo: Lynda Waddington/The Iowa Independent)

King questions if federal funding was used in telemedicine abortion program

By Lynda Waddington | 01.18.11 | 1:49 pm

U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) wants to know if millions in federal funding for telemedicine made its way into Iowa and, more specifically, if any of that funding was used in  a pilot program by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland to offer chemical abortions via teleconference.

During fiscal year 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was provided $11.6 million for telehealth programming. The agency specifically works to increase and improve the use of telemedicine to meet the needs of underserved people, including those living in rural and remote areas and those who are low-income and uninsured.

In a Jan. 13 letter circulated to members of Congress, King asks for additional signatories on a letter to the Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius.

“If you do not believe taxpayer funding should be going to fund abortions or telemed abortions, please join me in signing on to the following letter to Secretary Sebelius,” King wrote. “This letter will help us get to the bottom of how much funding has been appropriated for telemedicine, telemedicine equipment and how much of this funding potentially goes to provide telemed abortions.”

According to a list of program grantees from 2007 and 2008, the time period in which Planned Parenthood began offering chemical abortions via teleconferencing in Iowa, HHS provided funding to two Iowa grantees. One was the Iowa Medicaid Population Disease Management Demonstration through the Iowa Chronic Care Consortium and the other was the Midwest Rural Telemedicine Consortium through the Mercy Foundation. Information on the agency’s website also shows three additional Iowa programs that received Congressionally-directed funding specific to telemedicine. Two of the three are individual hospitals, and none are affiliated with Planned Parenthood.

King, who has long been against all legal abortion services, notes in his letter that “Planned Parenthood Clinics in Iowa have already completed 1,900 telemed abortions,” and that “while telemedicine may be a positive means of providing certain health services, abortion is not health care.”

“This practice must be stopped,” wrote King.

The use of video-conferencing by Planned Parenthood to provide chemical abortions, and the subsequent outcry from Kansas-based Operation Rescue and Iowa Right to Life, have been a part of the state political landscape for months. In addition, those in anti-abortion advocacy circles have expressed their dismay, noting that successes made by groups to shut down abortion clinics and stop doctors from practicing (often through violence) could be nullified by the program. King’s letter, however, appears to be the first national punch thrown in the battle.

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