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morning after pill and USCCB
Question from linda on 07-18-2014:
The USCCB and the German bishops have both said that after determining that a woman was not pregnant before a rape that is it permissible to give the morning after pill. Do these bishops need Pope approval before making such a determination and,if so, has the pope approved this?
Answer by Judie Brown on 07-23-2014:
Linda

The USCCB and the German Bishops are in error.

The VATICAN, not the Pope himself, has spoken twice on this matter. The first was the Pontifical Academy for Life which issued a document stating It is clear, therefore, that the proven "anti-implantation" action of the morning-after pill is really nothing other than a chemically induced abortion. It is neither intellectually consistent nor scientifically justifiable to say that we are not dealing with the same thing.

See: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_academies/acdlife/documents/rc_pa_acdlife_d oc_20001031_pillola-giorno-dopo_en.html

On another occasion the former President of the Academy, Bishop Elio Sgreccia, said the morning after pill was the same as abortion: http://www.all.org/article/index/id/MzcxMw/

Again in 2008 the Vatican issued the document DIGNITAS PERSONAE which states:

23. Alongside methods of preventing pregnancy which are, properly speaking, contraceptive, that is, which prevent conception following from a sexual act, there are other technical means which act after fertilization, when the embryo is already constituted, either before or after implantation in the uterine wall. Such methods are interceptive if they interfere with the embryo before implantation and contragestative if they cause the elimination of the embryo once implanted.

In order to promote wider use of interceptive methods,[43] it is sometimes stated that the way in which they function is not sufficiently understood. It is true that there is not always complete knowledge of the way that different pharmaceuticals operate, but scientific studies indicate that the effect of inhibiting implantation is certainly present, even if this does not mean that such interceptives cause an abortion every time they are used, also because conception does not occur after every act of sexual intercourse. It must be noted, however, that anyone who seeks to prevent the implantation of an embryo which may possibly have been conceived and who therefore either requests or prescribes such a pharmaceutical, generally intends abortion.

When there is a delay in menstruation, a contragestative is used,[44] usually one or two weeks after the non-occurrence of the monthly period. The stated aim is to re-establish menstruation, but what takes place in reality is the abortion of an embryo which has just implanted.

As is known, abortion is “the deliberate and direct killing, by whatever means it is carried out, of a human being in the initial phase of his or her existence, extending from conception to birth”.[45] Therefore, the use of means of interception and contragestation fall within the sin of abortion and are gravely immoral. Furthermore, when there is certainty that an abortion has resulted, there are serious penalties in canon law.[46]

See http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_200 81208_dignitas-personae_en.html


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