In a radical departure, Trump health officials want to define life as starting at “conception”


The Department of Health and Human Services is embracing the language of the religious right.

The Trump administration’s newly released draft plan for Health Human Services suggests the federal health agency will now be focused on protecting unborn Americans starting as early as conception.

HHS, according to the plan, will also be in the business of supporting strong family values and “healthy marriages,” empowering faith-based groups that receive federal dollars with the freedom to exercise their morals and beliefs, and looking after American lives all the way to “natural death.”

Language about human life starting with conception (the fertilization of an egg) is usually reserved for religious groups and anti-abortion activists, not government documents that’ll guide federal policy, according to several women’s health and policy experts Vox contacted. The notion that life starts at conception runs counter to federal law — as well as the medical community’s consensus — that recognizes pregnancy as beginning with the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus, they said.

“This document has a very different frame from previous strategic plans,” said Alina Salganicoff, vice president and director of women’s health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “This is a significant departure, and the question is what does this mean for health care.”

Every four years, HHS publishes a strategic plan reflecting the priorities of the administration. Barack Obama’s 2014 to 2018 plan focused on getting the health care markets stabilized and more people enrolled in insurance plans. In that document, the administration described HHS as “accomplishing its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving Americans at every stage of life.”

The new Trump 2018 to 2022 draft plan — which is out for public comment until October 27 — seems determined to take health care …read more

Source:: Vox – All

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