The Corner

Politics & Policy

HHS to Define Life as Beginning ‘at Conception’

The Department of Health and Human Services has published a draft strategic plan for 2018-2022 that includes some, shall we say, controversial language. See if you can spot it:

Mission Statement

The mission of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is to enhance the health and well-being of Americans, by providing for effective health and human services and by fostering sound, sustained advances in the sciences underlying medicine, public health, and social services.

Organizational Structure

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…


Life “beginning at conception,” or perhaps better stated, at the conclusion of fertilization, is a fact of basic biological science–as embryology text books attest.

Still, despite the scientific accuracy, expect the usual suspects to be furious about the proposal. Indeed, that sound you hear is the yelling already beginning.

The proposed mission statement also would seem to put the Department against assisted suicide (my emphasis):

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.

Good. We can use all the help stopping the death agenda that we can get.



Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

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