In its strategic plan that went into effect Oct. 1, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ policy now defines life as beginning at conception.
“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 plan says.
“A core component of the HHS mission is our dedication to serve all Americans from conception to natural death,” the plan says.
The strategic plan is part of what seems like moves by the HHS to support pro-life policies.
In June, an official with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spoke at the National Right to Life convention.
“Our president is fearless when it comes to life and conscience,” said Roger Severino, who directs the Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights. “We’re just getting started.”
According to Newsweek, the Obama administration plan had identical language to its plan, but the 2018-2022 adds in the phrase “beginning at conception.”
It is language that President Donald Trump has also used in the past. Earlier this year, Trump declared April as “Child Abuse Prevention Month,” calling children a “blessing from our Creator” and adding that they are “endowed from conception with value, purpose and human dignity.”
Pro-life activists and pro-choice supporters have long debated when life begins for an unborn child.
Some medical professionals have also said that there is no medical determination for life starting at conception.
“There’s a reason that we don’t provide a definition of when life begins because there isn’t such a definition in medicine,” Dr. Anne Davis, consulting medical director at Physicians for Reproductive Health, told the Huffington Post. “It’s not a medical concept.”
The plan covers the fiscal year 2018 to fiscal year 2022. The 2018 fiscal year started Oct. 1.
Within the 65-page report, “life at conception” is mentioned a total of five times.