Debate over abortion drug rekindled in Italy

ROME (AP) - The Vatican has praised a pledge by two newly elected Italian regional officials to halt the distribution of the abortion drug RU-486.

The decision by the two conservative officials has rekindled a debate in Italy over RU-486, which was legalized last year. The drug can be administered by doctors in hospitals but cannot be sold in pharmacies.

Italian newspapers said Friday that the first batches of the pills were being distributed this week.

Monsignor Renato Fisichella, the Vatican's top bioethics official, said the officials' move was "in defense of life and therefore it has my praise."

Pope Benedict XVI during a Holy Thursday Mass urged Christians not to accept "a wrong that is enshrined in law - for example the killing of innocent unborn children."

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.