Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Germany's World Cup title

Read more

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Farnborough air show takes off but F-35 jet is grounded

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Bastille Day celebrations

Read more

TOUR DE TECH

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll increases in Sierra Leone

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Viviane Reding, MEP, European People's Party

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Schulz returns to Parliament presidency: back to business as usual?

Read more

  • Live: France celebrates Bastille Day

    Read more

  • In pictures: 2014 World Cup historic moments

    Read more

  • Boules and booze: Bastille Day à la New Yorkaise

    Read more

  • Senegal honours the soldiers who fought for France in WWI

    Read more

  • Clashes erupt in Paris as thousands march to support Palestinians

    Read more

  • Operations underway to refloat shipwrecked Costa Concordia

    Read more

  • Germany defeat Argentina 1-0 to win fourth World Cup title

    Read more

  • Paris’s Bastille Day fireworks ‘a homage to victims’ of WWI

    Read more

  • Thousands flee northern Gaza after Israeli warning

    Read more

  • Major differences remain as deadline looms in Iran nuclear talks

    Read more

  • Rival Libyan militias exchange heavy fire at Tripoli airport

    Read more

  • French military to extend Mali 'counterterrorism' operations into Sahel

    Read more

  • Legendary conductor Lorin Maazel dies aged 84

    Read more

  • Germany’s Tony Martin wins ninth stage of Tour de France

    Read more

Europe

Health watchdog allows sale of abortion pill

©

Video by Fiona CAMERON

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-01

The Italian Pharmaceuticals Agency approved the sale of the controversial RU486 abortion drug in the country despite strong opposition from the Roman Catholic Church. The drug allows the user to have a chemically induced abortion.

AFP - An Italian drugs safety watchdog approved late Thursday the sale of the abortion-inducing drug RU486 in this predominantly Roman Catholic country, the ANSA news agency reported.

The Italian Pharmaceuticals Agency (AIFA) gave its decision on the drug, which is marketed under the name Mifegyne, after a two-year process of deliberation.

Their decision came despite strong pressure from the Roman Catholic Church and a clear lack of enthusiasm from the right-wing coalition government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, ANSA reported.

Bishop Elio Sgreccia, vice president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, warned Thursday that any doctor or woman, or anyone involved in promoting the drug, would be subject to excommunication from the church.

"One takes a decision as if one was dealing with any anti-fever drug and not a means of suppressing a life, even if it is at its early stage," said junior interior minister Alfredo Mantovano.

AIFA's board decided to grant the November 2007 request of the French laboratory Exelgyn to put the drug on the market. Mifegyne has been available in France since 1988.

RU486, which is not to be confused with the so-called "morning after" pill Norlevo, which has been available in Italy since 2000, allows the user to have a chemically induced abortion instead of a surgical intervention.

The pill is used to terminate an unwanted pregnancy within the first five or seven weeks, depending on the country where it is prescribed.

A 1978 Italian law allows surgical abortion only.

Italian law also allows doctors to refuse to perform abortions as conscientious objectors -- an option used by some 70 percent of Italy's gynaecologists.
 

Date created : 2009-07-31

Comments

COMMENT(S)