German cardinal approves 'morning-after pill' for rape victims in Catholic hospitals
February 04, 2013
A German cardinal has authorized the administration of the “morning-after pill” to rape victims in Catholic hospitals, in the wake of reports that two hospitals refused services to women who had been raped.
Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne said that hospitals should allow use of the “morning-after pill” because the drug is used to prevent fertilization. Some Catholic hospitals in the US allow the use of the “morning-after pill,” or emergency contraception, for the same reason.
However, while the pill functions as a contraceptive if it is taken prior to the time of ovulation, it may have a different effect if an egg has already been fertilized. The US Food and Drug Administration has said that emergency contraceptives make it impossible for a fertilized egg to become implanted in the womb, and thus cause an abortion. But some researchers insist that the pills have no effect on a fertilized egg.
The German bishops’ conference will take up the question of emergency contraception for rape victims at a regular meeting later this month.
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