DAILY CATHOLIC     WEDNESDAY     April 14, 1999     vol. 10, no. 73

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- "The morning-after pill does not exist. This is an abortion." That statement was issued by Bishop Elio Sgreccia, the vice-president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, in response to reports that UN authorities are issuing "emergency contraceptives" to women in Kosovo, to be used in case of rape.

          The effect of the "morning-after pill" is to make the womb inhospitable to the unborn child, Bishop Sgreccia pointed out. The massive doses of hormones contained in these pills do not prevent pregnancy, but rather prevent the implantation of a fetus in the womb when a pregnancy has already occurred. Thus the "morning-after pill" does not prevent conception; "it is really a technique of abortion," he concluded.

          Several years ago, nuns in Congo were administered contraceptive pills as a defense against pregnancy in case of rape. But that case cannot be compared with the situation of Kosovo refugees who have already been raped, the bishop said. "No one ever envisioned a 'post-coital contraception' for those nuns," he explained, "because every form of 'post-coital contraception' is by definition abortifacient."

          Once conception has occurred-- even as a result of rape-- the life of a human being is at stake, Bishop Sgreccia observed. "We must distinguish between the act of violence and the reality of new human beings who had no control over how their lives began," he said.

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

April 14, 1999       volume 10, no. 73


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