Cardinal’s U–turn on morning–after pill

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Germany’s Catholic Church may approve some morning-after pills for rape victims after a leading cardinal said they did not induce abortions.

Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne, an ally of German-born Pope Benedict, changed his stance after two Catholic hospitals refused to treat a rape victim because they could not prescribe the treatment, which is taken after sex to avoid pregnancy.

Cardinal Meisner, 79, has in the past rejected emergency contraceptives as producing a “just-in-case abortion”.

He said he had changed his view after learning from scientists that some newer pills did not abort fertilised eggs, but rather prevented fertilisation altogether.