March 4, 2013

The Catholic Church has long accepted the possibility of preventing ovulation in a woman who has been raped, but withdraws that option if there is a possibility that ovulation may have already occurred, said the president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life.

A recent statement by bishops in Germany saying it was acceptable to use medication that hinders conception after rape reflects an “unassailable rule” that has been proposed by the Catholic Church over the past 50 years, said Bishop Ignacio Carrasco de Paula.

“To consider the possibility of using a drug whose active ingredient is a contraceptive in the case of a woman who has been raped seems acceptable to me,” he said.

The Church, however, refuses the administration of an abortive drug in all cases, he said on the sidelines of a workshop, Faith and Human Life, sponsored by the academy Feb. 22.

“In the case of rape, one can do what is necessary to avoid a pregnancy, but you cannot terminate it,” the bishop said.