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By Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews, October 13, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – President Donald Trump’s administration signaled its commitment to protecting life again this week in a proposed Department of Health and Human Services strategic plan.
The plan states that HHS will serve Americans at “every stage of life, beginning at conception” and up through “natural death,” Opposing Views reports. While the new language will not affect abortion laws, it will help direct public policy under the Trump administration during the next four years.
Unsurprisingly, abortion activists are outraged by the draft. The pro-abortion blog Jezebel, the Huffington Post and other liberal news sites already have attacked the life-affirming language, despite its basis in science.
It is well accepted in the scientific community that a unique, new human life begins at the moment of conception. When the sperm and egg join, they form a totally separate, living human being with his or her own unique DNA. Biology textbooks, medical experts and even some abortion advocates accept this as a basic fact.
And now so does the HHS. The draft of the HHS strategic plan refers to the full span of human life several times.
Under the goal to to “Reform, Strengthen and Modernize the Nation’s Health Care,” it states: “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.” [Emphasis added]
The Church Militant reports the new, life-affirming language is a major shift from the HHS policy under pro-abortion President Barack Obama’s administration.
According to the report:
Under Obama, the HHS described its organizational structure in this way: “HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving Americans at every stage of life.” Now, under Trump, the organizational structure has been modified: “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 strategic plan sets goals for 2018 through 2022. The public may comment on the draft now through Oct. 27.
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The new policy language is what pro-life advocates hoped to see after Trump appointed a number of pro-life advocates to his administration. In HHS, these include Teresa Manning and Charmaine Yoest. Manning, a law professor, previously worked for the National Right to Life Committee and the Family Research Council. Yoest is the former president of Americans United for Life.
Trump’s administration has been making other pro-life policy changes as well. Earlier this year, the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement issued a new policy requiring that taxpayer-funded shelters for immigrants and refugees offer life-affirming support to women and girls who are pregnant, according to Slate.
Director Scott Lloyd, a Trump nominee, said the shelters “should not be supporting abortion services … only pregnancy services and life-affirming options counseling.”
Trump also defunded the International Planned Parenthood abortion group during his first week in office. On Jan. 23, Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits U.S. taxpayer funding to groups that promote or perform abortions overseas. The policy does not stop non-abortion international assistance. It ensures U.S. foreign aid will continue to go to health care and humanitarian relief in the millions of dollars. It just will not subsidize abortion overseas.