The Hypocritic Oath

I was sitting in the waiting room of the eye doctor. I noticed the walls were decorated with various attractively framed calligraphic placards. To pass the time, I got up to look them over. I was especially interested in one titled The Hippocratic Oath. I knew that it is an oath that most medical students take upon becoming doctors, and that its most well known adage is “to do no harm.” It is believed to be authored by Hippocrates, a Greek physician called “the father of medicine.”

Written in ancient times, I found its verbiage to be ancient sounding as well, but that didn’t prevent me from doing a double take at these lines: “I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion. In purity and according to divine law I will carry out my life and art.” I was incredulous! How could doctors take this oath and still perform abortions?

When I got home I did some research on the internet and found that the version I read in the eye doctor’s office is the classical version—the original Hippocratic Oath. In 1964, a modern version was created by the academic dean of the medical school of Tufts University. The line about abortion was deleted.

Christmas Cards for Abortions?

The following are excerpts from an ad placed online by Planned Parenthood of Indiana and reported in The Chicago Tribune:

What do you get the person who has everything— except adequate health insurance? If you live in Indiana, consider this offering from the state’s Planned Parenthood affiliate: gift certificates in $25 increments.

The vouchers, available online and at 35 clinics statewide, can be used for health services or contraceptives. And yes, they can be used to pay for abortions. Planned Parenthood’s online pitch for these gift certificates:

Looking for an unusual, yet practical gift this holiday season? Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN) is now offering gift certificates for services or the recipient’s choice of birth control method. The gift certificates can be purchased online in increments of $25 or for any amount at some of PPIN’s 35 health centers. Contact your local health center to see if they offer the certificates.