A new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) draft Strategic Plan for 2018 through 2022 contains verbiage defining human life as “beginning at conception” (i.e. with the fertilization of an egg), a radical departure from the language used by previous administrations. With this move, the department directly undermines the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v Wade that affirms the constitutional right to safe and legal abortion. The use of personhood language emphasizes the department’s skewed priorities, and sets a dangerous precedent for future policy. The language in the strategic plan also emboldens faith-based organizations and their refusal to provide employees birth control.
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