TRIER, Germany, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Roman Catholic bishops in Germany said hospitals managed by the church could provide raped women with some versions of the "morning after" pill.
The Roman Catholic hospitals could use the versions of the morning after pill that prevented fertilization but did not have an abortive effect, the bishops said.
In a statement issued Thursday, the bishops said they were not aware various forms of emergency contraception were available, and after consulting with medical experts and with the Vatican, they agreed administering drugs that in no way aborted a fertilized egg was justified in cases of rape, The New York Times reported.
The bishops said the new policy would be discussed with hospitals run by the church to ensure that "women who have been the victims of rape were provided human, medical, psychological and pastoral support," which could include "administration of the morning-after pill."
The Roman Catholic Church was criticized after a rape victim was recently turned away by two of its hospitals in Cologne, because staff members were concerned about having to counsel the woman about emergency contraception, the Times said.