The order gives attorneys for the state time to file a request with the U.S. Supreme Court to review an appeals court order blocking limitations on RU-486.
The ruling clarifies that doctors do not need to be present for patients taking the second of a two-dose regime for a medication abortion.
A bill that would have banned telemedicine abortions died in the Iowa legislature Friday after failing to meet a legislative deadline. Senate Republicans had called on Democrats, who currently hold the majority in the state senate, to bring legislation to the floor for a vote.
The decision stays an Iowa Board of Medicine rule that threatened to end access to medication abortion for rural patients. The decision will allow Planned Parenthood to continue offering medication abortions at 15 rural clinics while the court challenge proceeds.
The fate of the state’s successful telemedicine abortion program could be decided this week.
Although the entire docket has not yet been set, the next Supreme Court term is already shaping up to be historic, with decisions on abortion protests, legislative prayer, and state affirmative action, just to name a few.
An amended bill has clarified that women seeking medication abortions would only need to make three trips to a clinic, not the potential four trips bill opponents feared.