In September, the Department of Health and Human Services published a draft of their strategic plan for 2018-2022. In it, they took a stand on when life begins.
In their mission statement, they wrote, “The mission of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is to enhance the health and well-being of Americans…Organizational Structure 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 key term there is “at every stage of life, beginning at conception.” That’s a bold statement for a government document to make.
“It is a fact of basic biological science–as embryology textbooks attest. Still, despite the scientific accuracy, expect the usual suspects to be furious about the proposal,” wrote Wesley J. Smith, bioethicist and author of “The War on Humans.”
The proposed mission statement of the HHS seems to not only be against abortion, but also against assisted suicide.
They write, “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.”
Smith celebrates the decision, but he recognizes that not everyone will be happy.
“Indeed, that sound you hear is the yelling already beginning,” he added.
Yelling is coming from well-known liberal websites like Jezebel and HuffPost. Feminist writers on these websites are already calling for blood.
On Tuesday, Jezebel staff writer, Ellie Scechet, condemned the draft for being a “sign that the Trump administration is following the standard, discriminatory conservative orthodoxy on women’s health.” (Beware of profanity in the article).
In the article, Scechet takes the time to compare the mission statements of the HHS under Obama to the latest mission statement.
Under Obama, it read, “HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving Americans at every stage of life.”
There’s only one difference in the latest one. They’ve added, “beginning at conception.” She also bemoans how it’s reiterated later in the piece with an added reference to the HHS’s stance on assisted suicide.
Scechet proceeded to rail against the 2005 “Right to Life Act,” which she said, “would put control over women’s bodies—including, perhaps, what she ate, drank, or did while pregnant—in the hands of the state” because it protected fetuses from conception onwards.
She also criticized the people at the HHS department, who she calls “anti-abortion” activists.
The Huffington Post also published an op-ed about the mission statement. In it, the author says there’s no way to prove life begins at conception.
“This idea has long been used by the anti-abortion community as justification for its protests, constant attempts to pass anti-abortion legislation (like the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which the House passed last week, that would ban abortions after 20 weeks) and remains a pillar of the religious far-right’s agenda,” wrote Jenavieve Hatch.
She says, “Basically, the anti-abortion community stakes the entire basis of its belief system on medically unsound facts.”
Instead of recognizing that the religious right wants to protect women and babies from abortion, Hatch quotes a supposedly unbiased source that says the mission statement “’is setting the stage for turning things back, coming up with these justifications for refusing to cover’ reproductive health care.”
While there’s uproar, it should be easy to ignore it. Instead, we should focus on the victory. Thank you, Trump Administration, for standing up against the culture of death!
In other news, the Girls Scouts and Boy Scouts are in a battle over the Boy Scout's latest decision.