DES MOINES — Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Wednesday that two new members have been appointed to the Iowa Board of Medicine, replacing a pair of panelists who were rejected during last month’s Iowa Senate confirmation process.
Joining the state medical board are former state Rep. Teresa Garman, R-Ames, and Dr. Warren Gall of Dubuque, a physician at the University of Dubuque who has served on the Iowa Medical Advisory Board three years. The appointments, effective Wednesday, are unpaid and are subject to Iowa Senate confirmation.
Garman and Gall replace Diane Clarke of Lake Mills and Dr. Hamed Tewfik of Iowa City, who were not approved for reappointment when 18 Senate Democrats withheld support primarily over a 2013 board vote to ban the practice of using a webcam to remotely administer abortion-inducing pills to women in health clinics.
Senators voted 32-18 on the confirmations of Clark and Tewfik — which fell two votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to win approval from the 50-member Senate. Both had been board members since 2011. Tewfik and Clark were part of an 8-2 board decision that cited health and safety concerns in issuing a rule requiring physicians to personally perform a physical exam before dispensing abortion-inducing drugs — and not use telemedicine.
Opponents, including Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, contended the board was limiting women’s access to a legal medical procedure by banning telemedicine abortion services at Iowa clinics. The group sued the board in 2013 and prevailed.
In a 6-0 opinion, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that “after careful consideration, we hold that (the) rule ... places an undue burden on a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy as defined by the United States Supreme Court in its federal constitutional precedents.”
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