The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just announced their draft HHS Strategic Plan, FY 2018–2022. Starting in 2010, HHS has been required to release a strategic plan every four years. This time their plan, for the first time ever, has explicitly recognized that life begins at conception. This is a major victory for the rights and dignity of the unborn.
The HHS plan goes well beyond lip service. It incorporates this scientific principle as an integral and holistic part of its healthcare mission here at home and around the globe. Specifically, the fact that life begins at conception is included in four key components of the plan.
First, HHS includes protecting life “beginning at conception” as a core part of its overall mission:
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.
Second, HHS recognizes that respecting the “inherent dignity” of the unborn is a vital part of “global health security”:
Enhance international preparedness through medical countermeasures and community mitigation measures, respecting the inherent dignity of persons from conception to natural death.
Third, HHS dedicates itself to protecting the right to life for all, especially those most at risk of social or economic challenges:
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-begin challenges, through effective human services.
Fourth, HHS restores pro-life ethics to medical and scientific research:
The research pursued under this strategic goal is to be conducted consistent with the understanding that human subjects protection applies to all human beings from conception to natural death.
Support a broad and diverse portfolio of biomedical research…to augment scientific opportunities and innovation for public health needs, consistent with human subject protections, which protect all persons from conception on . . . .
It is more than encouraging to read these proposals. At the ACLJ, we have consistently fought for the right to life and the scientific principle that life begins at conception. Finally, the government has decided to listen to science and recognize that life begins at conception. We will be letting HHS know that we fully support these pro-life policy changes.
With your help, we can make these proposals a reality. HHS’s strategic plan is currently in a review period for public comment until October 27, 2017. Before each policy statement is a link directly to the HHS website where you can let your thoughts be known on each specific proposal. As the ACLJ prepares its official comments, we encourage you to comment on these vital pro-life policy initiatives and let HHS know how important these measures are to you.
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