Religious groups from opposite sides of the abortion issue are criticizing and hailing the September approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the drug RU-486.

Commonly known as the "abortion pill," RU-486 uses two drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, to induce abortions of early pregnancies.

While the Catholic Bishops' Committee for Pro-Life Activities condemned the approval, independent Catholics for a Free Choice praised the decision.

"FDA approval of RU-486 will be welcomed by Catholic women, who have abortions at the same rate as other women in the United States," the organization said.

Conservative groups like Focus on the Family and Concerned Women for America oppose the drug, noting that the procedure will still put women at a health risk.

Religious Land Use Lawsuit Filed

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in Washington has filed a lawsuit under a new federal law, the new Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.

The suit emerged after Grand Haven, Michigan, denied a local church use of a storefront location.

Becket is suing Grand Haven on behalf of Haven Shores Community Church for "a land use regulation that discriminates against it on the basis of religion."

In defense of its ruling, the city council says worship services, though not permitted in the business district, are permitted in the city's nine other zoning districts.

Religion News Service

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