Australian Bishops Want RU-486 Ban to Stand

Say the Drug Would Do Nothing to Lower Incidence of Abortion

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SYDNEY, Australia, NOV. 28, 2005 ( The Catholic bishops of Australia have called upon the government to continue the ban on the importation and prescription of the abortion drug RU-486.

«This chemical solution to a major social and personal problem is no solution at all,» said the bishops’ conference in a statement posted Friday on their Web site.

«Recent controversy over the abortion drug RU-486 has reopened the public debate over abortion,» the conference acknowledges. «That the question of abortion keeps surfacing in Australia reflects deep unease in our community about the fact that one in four pregnancies ends in abortion — somewhere around 90,000 a year.

«Research shows that nearly three-quarters of Australians think that this rate is far too high.»

«Yet rather than focusing attention upon positive strategies to help women continue with their pregnancies, we are now hearing calls for the introduction of yet another method of abortion,» the bishops lament.

«The introduction of chemical abortion will do nothing to reduce the incidence of abortion in Australia,» they state, «indeed, it may very well increase the numbers. Access to yet another method of abortion will further erode respect for the value of human life. Research suggests that more women will be damaged physically, psychologically and spiritually.

«RU-486 is a powerful drug designed to do nothing except end the life of a human being soon after it has begun. There are also serious safety concerns for the women who will expect to miscarry at home. This is particularly worrying for women who, because of geographical or personal isolation, may be unable to access emergency medical services.»

The bishops add: «Given the mixed reports about the dangers of this drug, our community needs the time for the fullest consideration of all the evidence and should not be rushed into legislative change.»

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