Italy Government Approves Dangerous Abortion Drug Mifepristone, Available Soon

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 11, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Italy Government Approves Dangerous Abortion Drug Mifepristone, Available Soon

by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 11
, 2009

Rome, Italy ( — The Italian government has given the final approval for nationwide sales of the dangerous abortion drug mifepristone. The abortion pill has already killed at least 13 women worldwide and injured more than 1,100 in the U.S. alone according to FDA figures that are three years old.

The Italian drug agency AIFA said earlier this week that it would end years of debate on the abortion drug and approve it for use in abortions at around seven weeks of pregnancy.

The regulations the government put in place make it so the abortion pill can only be obtained from a licensed physician in a hospital and can’t be sold in pharmacies.

AIFA had originally allowed sales of the drug at the end of July but a Senate committee asked the agency to review its decision in the face of protests from the Catholic Church and members of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government.

The decision has already come under heavy criticism with deputy interior minister Alfredo Mantovano saying the decision labeled the drug by classifying it as just another drug for treating fever, rather than "an instrument for ending a life."

AFP reported that Bishop Elio Sgreccia, former head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life, threatened "excommunication for the doctor, the woman and all those who push for the use" of RU486, which he called "a deadly poison."

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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