The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in the draft proposal for its FY 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, has recognized the need to protect the health of all Americans “at every stage of life, beginning at conception.”
The Department also stated that protecting the health of all Americans from conception to natural death, particularly for the economically disadvantaged, is an essential part of the HHS mission:
“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.”
The HHS Strategic Plan, FY 2018-2022, once finalized, will provide an outline of the guidelines for the mission and direction of the HHS for the next four years. All federal departments and agencies are required to issue a strategic plan and to update them on a periodic basis by the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (P.L. 103-62) and the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-352).
The HHS’s new strategic plan proposal differs significantly from the Department’s FY 2014-2018 plan by adding “beginning at conception” to the HHS’ commitment to “serving Americans at every stage of life.”
The HHS’ draft proposal for the Strategic Plan, FY 2018-2022 also recognizes the need “respect the inherent dignity of persons from conception to natural death” in global health programs and recognizes the need to take into account the fundamental dignity of the human person at all life stages in biomedical research. The Department also proposes that any initiatives it undertakes to modernize the nation’s healthcare system will seek to improve healthcare for all, “including the unborn.”
On October 19, 2017, the Department invited stakeholders to submit comments on the draft HHS Strategic Plan, FY 2018-2022. On October 27, the Population Research Institute (PRI) submitted a comment the HHS, supporting the draft’s recognition of the need to protect health at all stages of life and petitioning the HHS to ensure that it extricates itself from activities contrary to the inherent dignity of persons, particularly in end-of-life care.
You can read PRI’s full statement here.