Trump's HHS embraces life beginning at conception
The Trump administration's roll back of the birth control mandate got all the headlines last week. But there was another, little noticed change in the mission statement of the Department of Health and Human Services earlier this month that was much, much bigger. Wesley Smith at National Review picked up on it:
The mission of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is to enhance the health and well-being of Americans, by providing for effective health and human services and by fostering sound, sustained advances in the sciences underlying medicine, public health, and social services.
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…
Whoa. Life “beginning at conception,” or perhaps better stated, at the conclusion of fertilization, is a fact of basic biological science–as embryology text books attest.
The change didn't get passed the pro-abortion crowd, which promptly went ballistic:
Given that HHS is run by people who think women should not have access to birth control, much less abortion care, it certainly is a f[***]ing doozy, and a doozy worth looking at. As Dr. Jen Gunter recently pointed out in her blog on the plan, one of the very first things this document does is define life at conception, right at the beginning of the second paragraph.
Let’s take a gander at what this sentence looked like under the Obama administration:
HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving Americans at every stage of life.
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.
Smith also notes:
The proposed mission statement also would seem to put the Department against assisted suicide (my emphasis):
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.
Without doubt, there will be a storm of criticism over the changes, and it will very likely become a campaign issue for the left in 2018. So be it. As Smith writes, "[w]e can use all the help stopping the death agenda that we can get."