In a newly released proposal, the United States Department of Health and Human Services has added verbiage to its strategic mission that would expressly state that life begins at conception. The language appears in a HHS draft Strategic Plan for 2018 through 2022 and is a pro-life departure from the terms used by previous administrations.
As LiveAction reported, the document previously included the following introduction:
HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving Americans at every stage of life.
In the drafted version dated September 2017, five key words have been added (emphasis ours):
HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception.
The document proceeds to lay out the “strategic goals” of the department, and this new emphasis on life and the rights of a child in utero are referenced throughout. HHS states its first goal is to “Reform, Strengthen, and Modernize the Nation’s Health Care,” and it is made clear that there is a push to improve health care in the United States for all Americans, including those still in the womb. It reads:
HHS is dedicated to reforming, strengthening, and modernizing the Nation’s health care system. By promoting greater affordability and balancing spending, strengthening health care quality and patient safety, improving access and expanding choices, and investing in the health care workforce, HHS seeks to improve health care outcomes for people we serve. While we may refer to the people we serve as beneficiaries, enrollees, patients, or consumers, our ultimate goal is to improve healthcare outcomes for all people, including the unborn, across healthcare settings.
In another nod to pro-life advocates, the third goal, “Strengthen the Economic and Social Well-Being of Americans across the Lifespan,” has been updated to cover not just the origins of life but the end of life as well.
A core component of the HHS mission is our dedication to serve all Americans from conception to natural death, but especially those individuals and populations facing or at high risk for economic and social well-being challenges, through effective human services.
Needless to say, the changes elicited a strong response from both supporters and detractors. As Snopes reported, Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R), tweeted that he was “encouraged” to see the department “recognize that life begins at conception.”
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) October 11, 2017
Pro-choice groups, meanwhile, labeled the proposal “extremist” and “anti-choice.”
? WOW. HHS is pushing an extremist anti-choice policy that would ban abortion and some forms of birth control: https://t.co/5n6iaAjI3C
— NARAL (@NARAL) October 11, 2017
Read the entire HHS document HERE.