The abortion drug RU486 is available in many European countries. The U.S. approved its use in 2000.
In the face of strong conservative Catholic opposition, Italy has approved use of the RU486 abortion drug. Italian authorities decided to allow the drug to be administered by a doctor up to the seventh week of pregnancy.
The pill was introduced 20 years ago in France, but it has taken Italy that long to catch up with women’s reproductive rights.
AP via The Guardian:
Italy’s health and drugs authorities have approved the use of the abortion drug RU486, drawing immediate protests by the Vatican.
The Italian Drug Agency ruled, after a meeting which ended last night, that the drug cannot be sold in [pharmacies] but can be administered only by doctors in a hospital. The agency said the pill can only be taken up to the seventh week of pregnancy.
The RU486 was first introduced in France almost 20 years ago and is available in several other European countries. But approval in Italy has been held up by the Catholic church, which opposes abortion and contraception.
However, Italy allows surgical abortions in hospitals and the use of the morning-after pill.