Italy Resumes RU 486 Abortion Drug Trials, Catholic Paper Protests

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 6, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Italy Resumes RU 486 Abortion Drug Trials, Catholic Paper Protests Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 6, 2005

Rome, Italy ( — The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano is condemning trials of the RU 486 abortion drug in Italian hospitals. Sant’Anna hospital Turin had been conducting trials of the drugs to determine if they should be allowed for sale in Italy as they are in many other European nations and the United States.

The newspaper cites an Italian law stating that abortion should not be used as a form of contraception, but it says that’s what would happen with the mifepristone abortion drug, which has been responsible for the deaths of five women in the United States and others elsewhere.

"The common roots of contraception and abortion are ever more clearly in evidence," L’Osservatore said. They are "two fruits of the same tree," and the connection is "only on the cultural level but on the technical level as well."

The newspaper condemns the "obscurantism of the conscience" that allows some people to favor the destruction of human life through abortion. "One more time, science is put in the service of death."

In September, Italian Health Minister Francesco Storace suspended Italy’s experimental trials. Storace said he made the decision to halt the trials because reports had surfaced showing one in 20 women taking the abortion drugs were having partial abortions at home followed by excessive bleeding.

However, on Tuesday, Mario Valpreda, chairman of a regional ethical committee, said the hospital could resume them based on modified protocols issued by the national government.

"The hospital will communicate the approbation to the ministry," Valpreda told AGI news. "We think that the experimentation could be resumed in a very short time."

The Catholic newspaper decried that action.

"Resumed experimenting on the RU 486 pill in Turin proves that there is a clear design to make abortion easier," it said.