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German Bishops Approve Use of 'Morning-After Pill' in Rape Cases

Update Date: Feb 22, 2013 08:24 AM EST

The Roman Catholic Church in Germany has now approved the use of emergency contraception pill, popularly known as "the morning after pill", to prevent conception in women who have been raped, according to media reports.

According to Medline Plus, the pill or emergency contraception methods are used to prevent pregnancy in scenarios where the woman has been raped or sexually assaulted, forgot to take birth control pills, if the condom broke or slipped during sex, etc.

The announcement for the use of the "morning after pill" came during The German Bishops' Conference. The decision came due to criticism faced by the Church after two women who were raped were refused care at two Catholic hospitals in the western city of Cologne, AFP reports.

Catholic hospitals currently allow use of spermicidals and drugs to prevent a woman from ovulating after she has been raped to prevent her from getting pregnant, The Associated Press reported.

The four-day meeting of bishops has now said that women who have been raped will get proper human, medical and pastoral care. "That can include medication with a 'morning-after pill' as long as this has a prophylactic and not an abortive effect. Medical and pharmaceutical methods that induce the death of an embryo may still not be used," said Archbishop Robert Zollitsch in a statement, according to Reuters Health.

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