The National Black ProLife Union, a group of Black religious leaders, held a press conference in Washington DC on August 18. AAPLOG was asked to participate. The AAPLOG written statement for the press conference follows:

Caring for each patient, by first doing no harm, has been a core precept of the medical profession since the time of Hippocrates. The Hippocratic oath distinguishes doctors and other health care professionals from social engineers; those who want to use medical care as a kind of tool to manipulate society. Any health care reform bills must not force health care professionals to violate the trust at the core of the physician-patient relationship. To force doctors to do harm to patients in the interest of “communitarian”ideals is to pervert the very foundation of medicine.

We call on the Administration to amend the Health Care Reform bills to explicitly exclude funding of abortion from the national health care plans. Abortion not only kills the unborn child, but also increases the mother’s risk of suicide, depression, substance abuse and other adverse mental health outcomes. The woman who aborts increases her risk of preterm birth and cerebral palsy in subsequent pregnancies. The woman undergoing RU-486 abortion has increased risks of death from infection and massive hemorrhage. These and other health risks are well documented in the medical literature, and form some of the basis for conscientious refusal to participate in a procedure known to harm the mother and kill the unborn child.

We also call on the Administration to explicitly confirm and defend the health care professional’s right to refuse to participate in procedures which violate that health care professional’s conscience, include procedures explicitly forbidden under the Hippocratic Oath: abortion and euthanasia.

Additionally, Donna J. Harrison, M.D. President. American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, made this oral statement:

The Hippocratic Oath means I won’t kill you, or your grama, or your unborn child. A Hippocratic Doctor vows to protect, not destroy, human life. But, as an obgyn doctor under the proposed health care reform bill, I could lose my job for refusing to kill your unborn child. The doctor who vows not to harm you or your child is protected by three narrow laws, all of which will be wiped out under the proposed health care reform.

The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists joins in calling on President Obama to keep his promise to protect the right of conscience of all health professionals, not just doctors, but also nurses, midwives, pharmacists, and PA’s. who have vowed not to hurt you or your unborn child or any of your family. We call on the President to change the proposed health care reform bills to explicitly include real, not deceitful, conscience protections for all health professionals who work to protect, not destroy, human life.

Abortion destroys life. Abortion not only kills the unborn child, but also increases the mother’s risk of suicide, depression, substance abuse and other adverse mental health outcomes. Abortion increases her risk of preterm birth and cerebral palsy in the next pregnancy. RU-486 abortion increases her risk of death from infection and massive hemorrhage. These and other health risks are well documented in the medical literature.

Abortion destroys life. And abortion in this country is targeted at Black women. One third of the abortions done in this country are done on black women, even though Black women make up about one sixth of the population. Under the current bill, tax money is used to fund abortion providers, who already expand operations disproportionately to Black Americans. This means more black children aborted. We call on President Obama to explicitly exclude any tax funding of abortions from any proposed health care reform bills.

And we call on the President to stop all current government subsidy to those organizations who in their roots and in their actions target the black community for genocide.

Health care is about life. And health care reform must be about making life better, not destroying the lives of people who someone else doesn’t want.