Italy Govt of Silvio Berlusconi Blocks Deadly Abortion Drug, Seeks Safety Review
by Steven Ertelt
November 26, 2009
Rome, Italy (LifeNews.com) — The government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has blocked the sale of the dangerous abortion drug in Italy. The drug had been approved by the AIFA, the Italian pharmaceutical authority similar to the FDA in the U.S., but Berlusconi’s center-right government wants to review its safety.
With the drug killing at least 13 women worldwide and injured more than 1,100 women in the United States alone as of 2006, mifepristone kills unborn children and kills or injures women as well.
The RU 486 abortion drug has been approved for use to up seven weeks into pregnancy and only in hospitals.
But, today, the London Times indicates the Senate health commission suspended its used and asked the government’s health ministry for a review of its safety. The commission said the drug could harm women and may violate the nation’s abortion laws.
When Italy legalized abortion in 1978, its decision only included surgical abortions, not the kind that can be done with the controversial mifepristone pill.
The decision came under fire from Anna Finocchiaro, leader in the Senate of the opposition liberal Democratic Party, who claimed the government wants to ban the abortion drug entirely.
"Instead of admitting what they really want, they’re hiding behind a lot of chatter," she said.
The previous Italian government, in July, made Italy the latest to sell the abortion drug. The Italian Pharmaceuticals Agency (AIFA) announced the decision that, after a two year review process, the abortion drug can be sold under the name Mifegyne. The French drug company Exelgyn had sought permission to sell the abortion drug in Italy.
Former Health Minister Livia Turco had pushed the abortion drug in Italy after she replaced 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.
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