MARCH 4, 1994 PAGE 9

Women who purposely stop a pregnancy by using a 'morning-after pill' incur automatic excommunication, said a Feb. 28 article in the Vatican newspaper, L O'sservatore Romano.

Like abortion, pills that prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall "destroy a human being already called into existence even if it was not wanted and was conceived in a casual encounter,"

said Franciscan Fr. Gino Concetti a moral theologian who writes for the newspaper.

According to canon law, "person who procures a completed abortion incurs an automatic excommunication."

To distribute morning-after pills as contraceptives hides the truth and deceives those who use the pills, he added. Those who do not know the difference commit a moral wrong by taking the morning-after pill, but they do not face automatic excommunication, he said.

The article was a reaction against a proposal in England that contraceptive and morning-after pills should be made more widely accessible in order to stem the number of teenage pregnancies."