An Italian drug board is set to approve sales of the abortion-inducing drug RU486 in the predominantly Roman Catholic country, a news report said Wednesday.
The Italian Pharmaceuticals Agency (AIFA) will announce the decision on Thursday, the daily La Repubblica reported.
After a process lasting nearly two years, AIFA will allow sales of the drug under the name Mifegyne.
The pill is used to terminate an unwanted pregnancy within the first five or seven weeks, depending on the country where it is prescribed.
A 1978 Italian law allows surgical abortion only.
Italian law also allows doctors to refuse to perform abortions as conscientious objectors -- an option used by some 70 percent of Italy's gynaecologists.