In late July of this year, Italy's drug regulation agency approved the use of the abortion pill RU486, which is also known as mifepristone. Not suprisingly, the Vatican issued its protests, and stated that it would excommunicate doctors who prescribed the pill, as well as patients who used it.
The Italian Pharmaceuticals Agency (AIFA) said that the drug could only be prescribed by doctors, and would not be sold over the counter.
Bishop Elio Sgreccia, vice-president of the Pontifical Academy for Life said the following: "First abortion was legalized to stop it being clandestine, but now doctors are washing their hands of it and transferring the burden of conscience to women."
I think that women can be trusted to do what is right for themselves without having figures of authority such as the Bishop, direct them. If a woman does wish to consult with someone in authority, that is her right also.
Youth Minister Giorgia Meloni had this to say, "If a woman can't be convinced to avoid an abortion, we should accept a less invasive and painful method." I agree. A pill is definitely preferable to a surgical procedure.
The pill we're talking about, the above mentioned RU486, was first introduced in France twenty years ago, and is available in many European countries and in the United States. With the taking of this pill the patient has a chemically induced abortion instead of a surgical procedure, all within the first seven weeks.
What does this pill do? According to the BBC News, from where the information for this article was gathered, the pill suppresses the body's production of the hormone progesterone, causing the uterine lining to thin and in turn, reject "an implanted embryo." Some side effects have included heavy bleeding and nausea.
Youth Minister Giorgia Meloni said that the taking of this pill does not go against Italian law, which allows surgical abortion on demand in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and until the 24th week if the fetus does have a genetic problem, or if the mother's health is at stake.
No one knows how many doctors will prescribe RU486.