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Italy OKs Abortion Pill, Vatican to Excommunicate Doctors

Over the objections of the Vatican, Italy recently approved the use of RU486, commonly known as the abortion pill.

The pill, which can only be taken up to the seventh week of pregnancy, will not be sold in Italian pharmacies — only doctors will be allowed to administer it. The Vatican has made its opposition clear, promising that any doctor who does administer it will be excommunicated (along with the women who take it). According to the Italian health ministry, 70 percent of Italian doctors refuse to carry out abortions in the predominately Catholic country.

Unlike the morning after pill (Plan B), which prevents a pregnancy that hasn't happened yet, RU-486 causes the termination of an existing pregnancy. Italian law permits surgical abortion "on demand" within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and until the 24th week if the fetus has genetic defects or if the mother's health is in danger. Now women will have legal access to a chemically induced abortion as an alternative to the surgical procedure.

Image Source: Getty
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Akasha Akasha 7 years
I am always amazed by people who don't have children who feel they have the right to discuss abortion. I have an idea. For all of you people who are against abortion go to the local foster care center and pick up a kid of your very own. Or better yet why don't you go council the kid who's mother was a rape victim and didn't have the option of an abortion because of cost, who in turn was neglected and abused because the mother hated the very sight of him. I think everyone of you have the right to your opinion, but would you be willing to stand by that belief to the turn of taking a child out of the system. I'm willing to bet 95% of you wouldn't otherwise there wouldn't be millions of unwanted or abused children sitting in unfit foster homes or over crowded orphanages.
xxstardust xxstardust 7 years
Spacekat - God does judge us in the end, not man - but according to the Catholic faith, the Pope is God's direct link to the Earth, so while he may not get to judge, he gets to interpret what God will judge us for (or at least, that's the theory) and communicate it to us. Phil - I don't know how to begin to defend the intelligence of followers of organized religions to you, because as you said - there's really no way to do a controlled study on the subject. I think it would be best to simply agree to disagree, as I'm perfectly assured of my own intelligence and of the many other students at my university who subscribe to an organized religion ... several of whom are even science majors. ;) However, I will disagree with the idea that being 'benevolent to humanity' is somehow at odds with the idea that the Church excludes people who don't do or say things according to it's doctrines. It's entirely possible to do a lot of good for people around the world, be benevolent towards those in need, and still decide to exclude people from their religious beliefs. The Catholic church does not deny the hungry or the sick because they have different beliefs. That doesn't mean it isn't perfectly fair to exclude people from claiming to be Catholic if they don't believe and adhere to it's teachings. The Church has specific beliefs and ways of doing things, and that's what ties it's members together as a group. Other religions do things different and believe other things, which aren't necessarily in line with what the Catholics believe ... which is why they are a different group. They're "archaic traditions" to you, but important to me, which is why I'm a practicing Catholic and you're not. And that's fine - you are perfectly entitled to believe something I find ridiculous, and you're equally as entitled to think that the fact that I don't eat meat on Fridays for 40 days a year is ridiculous. Think of it as a club. Clubs have rules, and if you don't think those rules are okay, don't be a part of that club. Find one whose rules you agree with. The point is, they're one group's beliefs and have no imposition on you whatsoever. The legal ability to access abortions exists; the Pope's unhappiness with the decision isn't going to cause anyone to go out and search out a back alley abortion. The decision to excommunicate those Catholic doctors and women who choose to have a chemical abortion in Italy has no bearing on anyone who is not a Catholic. This is not a political move; by excommunicating people the Church is by no means enacting a political strategy to change the law but simply enforcing the established beliefs of one group.
Phil Phil 7 years
What I'm saying, xxstardust, is that despite organized religions' (particularly the more fundamental of the Abrahamic religions, like Catholicism, but not exclusively) claim to be benevolent to humanity, its eagerness to condemn and exclude people who don't do or say things according to its doctrines (and the current interpretations of its doctrines), suggest otherwise. Of course, there's no effective method to causally link intelligence and religiosity, but there's no denying that the more scientific knowledge a person possesses about nature (in its many forms), the less likely they are to believe in the doctrines of organized religion. Many surveys show a negative correlation between intelligence/education and religious belief. But, rise in intelligence is not what's making organized religion obsolete, though it's certainly helping. It's organized religion and its refusal to adapt to the realities of contemporary society that is making organized religion obsolete. That the Pope and the Catholic Church is one of the most vocal in condemning those who act apart from the archaic traditions of their brand of fundamentalism only supports the rise of secularism.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 7 years
spacekatgal - If you think this is politics at its most corrupt, you should study history!
genesisrocks genesisrocks 7 years
Just excommunicate everyone at this point.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 7 years
Beautifully said, Stardust! bellavita, most people don't fear their church - what a miserable existence that would be! - but rather love it, and hope to help others see it in a more positive light.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
bellavita, maybe it's less about defending/fearing the "patriarchal institution" and its about women believing in something, for reasons they do not have to explain to anyone. just because something they may want or need goes against what they believe doesn't mean they should stop believing.
bellavita214 bellavita214 7 years
If it came down to a decision between the rights of women and the blessing of the Catholic church, women's rights seem like a obvious choice every time. After all, if we had never challenged the authority of the church before, it would still be a sin for women to enter a church without wearing a hat.... be subordinate to their husbands.... forced to quit their jobs after marriage as to not interfere with the raising of children.... need I go on? Why women would continue to defend and fear a blatantly repressive patriarchal dominated institution is beyond me. Think for yourself.
bvfashion bvfashion 7 years
Stardust, you're amazing girl, you said what I've always tried to say but much more eloquently than I've managed to. I am also firmly pro-choice, even though I don't think that I would ever actually be able to have an abortion myself.
Smacks83 Smacks83 7 years
Stardust, very well said. Also, very interesting about the St. Augustine bit (didn't know that).
xxstardust xxstardust 7 years
I'm amazed by some of the venom in this thread - really, Phil, the rise in average intelligence is making the Church obsolete? Meaning therefore that those who belong to the Church are less intelligent? You're entitled to your opinions about the value of organized religion, but to insult the people who do take solace in their faith is uncalled for. As for the actual post - I am Catholic, and while I believe abortion is a sin on a personal level I've always been pro-choice. Firstly, Catholic teaching has changed over the many years it has stood, and for a very long time the Church was not opposed to abortion so long as the child was not yet fully formed in the womb, as it could thus not contain a soul (according to St. Augustine, who was sanctioned by Pope Innocent). Secondly, while it's a sin in my book and I firmly believe that it is wrong, I also firmly believe that other women need to be free legally to do what they feel is right for them, whether I see it as a sin or not. That's where the Church's excommunication is okay with me - it may be a sin, for which the Church is allowed to admonish them, but it's still legally available to women who need it, which is really the most important issue, right? Love the sinner, hate the sin - I believe that abortion is wrong and should be prevented whenever possible, but I also believe that it should be legally available to women who don't have the same religious/moral stand that I do.
mermei mermei 7 years
Right, Anon, but that free will INCLUDES the right of the church to say, "We believe this is a sin, and if you participate in this, you cannot be part of this church." These Italians can still prescribe this pill and take it, they just can't claim to be part of the church while they do it. What's unfair about that? Why do churches have to change their doctrine for people who find it too inconvenient to adhere to it? The point here is that this pill is now legal in Italy - they should not also pass a law forcing any church to agree.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
I love how people who preach choice, judge me for my choice so readily. Why do I care what a woman does with a baby? because I care for the baby thats why?
nicole0112 nicole0112 7 years
It's nice that people who pledge to abstain from sex for the rest of their lives have such an opinion on something that they will never have to deal with. I truly don't understand why the choices some people make for themselves bother other people so much. If you disagree with abortion so much, don't get one! Let everyone else decide for themselves.
MrsRachel MrsRachel 7 years
You said it CaterpillarGirl. This is murder and I am so glad that the Church is making such a firm stance on this issue. It is very important.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
I agree with the excommunication of these doctors, these pills are murder in tablet form.
Glittersniffer Glittersniffer 7 years
I find it sickeningly amusing that a group of people who do not have uteruses (uterii?) and who will never be fathers feel as though they have the authority to send women to hell for what they do with their organs, or for giving those who helped them make that choice safely.
Phil Phil 7 years
It's no wonder why more and more people are identifying themselves as atheists and non-believers. Along with the rise in average intelligence, if theists keep doing foolish things like this, organized religion will become the powerless institution that it should rightfully be.
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