Morning-after pills for rape victims might be accepted by Catholic bishops in Germany, according to their chairman Robert Zollitsch. The clerics have begun a four-day conference facing hefty pressure to adopt reforms.
Catholic bishops began their assembly in the Moselle river city of Trier on Monday facing lingering outrage - inside and outside the church - after last month's refusals by two Catholic hospitals in Cologne to treat a rape victim.
Opening the Trier conference, Archbishop Zollitsch (pictured above) said public consternation over the victim's rejection was "so high" and he expected bishops to discuss the issue objectively and to adopt a joint line to enable usage.
This was likely to allow medics to prescribe morning-after pills to rape victims, assuming these prevented sperm from fertilizing an egg in the womb and did not induce an abortion, Zollitsch said.