Italy Officials May Soon Finalize Bid to Sell Dangerous RU 486 Abortion Drug
by Steven Ertelt
December 15, 2008
Rome, Italy (LifeNews.com) — Officials with the Italian government are expected to finalize the details of an effort to allow sales of the dangerous abortion drug mifepristone (RU 486). The drug has killed more than a dozen women worldwide and injured thousands in the United States alone but it may be available in Italy soon.
The Italian governmental agency that monitors pharmaceuticals approved the use of the mifepristone abortion drug in February and it could finalize that decision this week.
If the abortion drug gets the go-ahead, it would be sold in hospitals where abortions are done.
The Catholic Church has worked overtime to stop the drug and Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, the Vatican’s health spokesman, told ANSA news agency he doesn’t want RU 486 approved.
"Abortion means to take the life of an innocent person, as from the first moment of an embryo’s existence it is a human with its own rights," he said.
Italy’s Minister of Youth Giorgia Meloni told AFP he also had concerns about approving mifepristone.
"Don’t think of the RU 486 as a contraceptive pill as it isn’t one. It’s a pregnancy which has already started, a drug which poses serious risks to women that take it. Each new way to end life is not a victory for anyone," he explained.
Exelgyn Laboratories of France would market the abortion drug in Italy under the brand name Mifegyn.
Health Minister Livia Turco had been pushing for allowing the abortion drug and came under fire from pro-life advocates because she refused to stop hospital trials.
Turco replaced former Health Minister Francesco Storace who was able to halt the RU 486 abortion drug trials temporarily.
He was able to do so, citing the law and the fact that some of the women involved in the abortion drug trials were ultimately having the abortions at home rather than in the hospitals.
Abortions in Italy have been declining, dropping from 234,801 abortions in 1982 to 136,715 in 2004 but pro-life advocates would like to drive that number down even further.
The number of doctors who have objected to doing abortions has also risen to almost 70 percent of the nation’s physicians.
The abortions have helped cause an underpopulation crisis in the nation. Lawmakers in the Italian parliament have considered a proposal to pay pregnant women with unplanned pregnancies to avoid abortions and to boost the birth rate.
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