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A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943

Virginia Governor Contradicts Oath of Hippocrates

In supporting abortion up to the moment of birth and even after, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, M.D., a pediatric neurologist, has clearly renounced the Oath of Hippocrates, states the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).

In taking this Oath, physicians promise to be healers, not killers, avoiding all deliberate harm to patients. The Oath specifically proscribes abortion and euthanasia.

“Gov. Northam goes even beyond this in supporting legislation that allows infanticide,” states AAPS executive director Jane Orient, M.D. “The newborn baby is clearly outside the mother’s body and is fighting for its life.”

The governor declined to retract his statements, although he said they were taken out of context. “No woman seeks a third trimester abortion except in the case of tragic or difficult circumstances, such as a nonviable pregnancy or in the event of severe fetal abnormalities.”

Some women do seek late-term abortions of normal pregnancies,” states Dr. Orient. “The proposed law would protect such abortions. Some states require that infants born alive despite attempts to abort them must be given life-saving care. Gov. Northam opposes this.”

She proposes a few questions to ask the governor:

How do you “keep an infant comfortable” when it is gasping, choking, crying, and kicking, without giving it what it needs to live—or killing it?

Can a doctor wash his hands of responsibility for a tiny newborn by shifting it to an exhausted, emotionally distraught woman, who is pressured to make a choice within a few seconds that will affect the rest of her life?

Just how should the medical attendant (in New York it need not be a doctor) treat the newborn to assure its death? Active measures, like Kermit Gosnell’s? Neglect?

Dr. Orient notes that babies with supposedly lethal conditions sometimes prove the doctors wrong. There is also the option of perinatal hospice for the humane care of babies that cannot survive—and their grieving parents.

“Gov. Northam’s radical stance crosses the line to accepting infanticide,” Dr. Orient stated.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943. Its motto is “omnia pro aegroto,” or “all for the patient.”

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