Pro-lifers slam HHS Reproductive Health Care Access Task Force
Life advocates slam Biden administration’s decision to create a ‘reproductive health care access task force’ after 2021 was a banner year for pro-life legislation at the state level .
On January 21, the eve of the 49th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, the US Department of Health and Human Services launched the “HHS Reproductive Healthcare Access Task Force”.
As noted in a fact sheet announcing the creation of the task force, the body “is comprised of senior HHS officials who have been designated by their respective agencies to identify and coordinate activities across the Department to protect and strengthen access to essential sexual and reproductive health services”. care.”
“Working group activities focus on improving quantity, access and equity in reproductive health, rights and justice,” the fact sheet says. “[They] include coordinating federal interagency policy development, program development, and advocacy efforts to overcome barriers that affect individuals and communities seeking reproductive health care.
According to the fact sheet, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra “has asked each agency to prepare a plan outlining measurable actions the agency plans or will take to protect and strengthen access to health care. sexual and reproductive”.
Actions cited as necessary to protect “reproductive health care” include “identifying and promoting policies that improve access to reproductive health care within federal programs and services” and “partnering with partners bilateral and multilateral to support evidence-based guidance and recommendations. [policies] that increase access to sexual and reproductive health care around the world.
The department attributed the need for a “reproductive health care access task force” to the coronavirus pandemic, the passing of a record number of state-level pro-life laws in 2021 and the possibility that the Supreme Court will overturn deer This year.
“Patients have the right to make decisions about their own bodies. In light of restrictive laws across the country, HHS will assess the impact on patients and our communities,” Becerra said. “Once again, we tell healthcare providers and patients that we have your back.”
HHS Assistant Secretary of Health Rachel Levine, the first openly trans-identified federal official, predicted the new task force will “improve access to reproductive health care” and “eliminate health disparities.” .
Levin added that the task force will work “to expand access to culturally competent health services for underserved communities, including people of color, people with disabilities, youth, LGBTQI+ people and others.” “.
HHS Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs Loyce Pace said “promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights is central to our primary global health goals.”
While abortion lobbying organizations and progressives have celebrated the new task force, pro-life advocacy groups pushing for laws limiting legal access to abortion don’t share the enthusiasm.
Valerie Huber, who was the former senior policy adviser to the assistant secretary for health in the Trump administration and is now president of the Institute for Women’s Health, argues that the task force is “deviating from the mission of the HHS”.
“[The mission] aims nationally “to improve the health and well-being of all Americans” and internationally to “protect and promote health throughout the world,” Huber said in a statement. declaration released Thursday.
“Divisional programs such as the one pushed by this task force do not address desperate health needs, but block them,” she added. “Secretary Becerra and Assistant Secretary Pace should manage the COVID pandemic instead of using it as a means to promote inherently divisive concepts at home and abroad.”
The Institute for Women’s Health called on the US Congress to “ensure that HHS does not use the agency’s Reproductive Health Care Access Task Force to advocate or implement policies that go beyond legal limits”.
The organization insists that “hard-earned American taxpayer dollars should not fund what amounts to an abortion access task force, especially when the majority of Americans oppose funding by taxpayers of abortion at home and abroad”.
Katie Glenn, a government affairs adviser at Americans United for Life, told the National Catholic Register that she believed the task force was an attempt to “circumvent state laws.” At least 106 abortion restrictions were enacted in 19 states in 2021, according to pro-abortion research organization Guttmacher Institute.
Although Democrats have introduced the Women’s Health Protection Act, such a bill is unlikely to pass the US Senate. Additionally, with a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, some believe the nation’s high court could eliminate legal precedents by deer when he rules on the 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi this year.
“I think [administration officials] see this as an opportunity to sidestep the issue,” Glenn said. “It’s a way around this whole political reality that even pro-choice people, on the whole, support what the Biden administration and what Planned Parenthood would call ‘sweeping, overbroad health and safety regulations. and too heavy “.”
Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., said the new task force commemorates a “decision that resulted in the death of more than 63 million babies through abortion.”
‘Biden and his administration have a disgusting disregard for life,’ the senator said tweeted.
The White House on Wednesday released a fact sheet highlighting the Biden administration’s “commitment to global health.” The document cites “advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights” as one of its actions to advance global health.
The White House specifically mentioned Biden “issuing a presidential memorandum on protecting women’s health at home and abroad.” The memorandum revoked Mexico City’s broad policy instituted under former President Donald Trump to prohibit the use of US taxpayers’ money by nongovernmental organizations that provide abortions or abortion referrals.
The Biden administration has also ordered agencies to resume funding for the United Nations Population Fund, which critics say promotes abortion around the world.
“The administration continues to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all in the face of persistent threats,” the White House said. “As the largest bilateral family planning donor, the United States is also a global leader in advancing SRHR in multilateral forums and with bilateral partners. As we address the indirect impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on health systems and vulnerable populations, the United States has supported increased access to SRHR services, especially in emergency settings.
The Institute for Women’s Health deplored the use of the term “sexual and reproductive health and rights” because it “falsely asserts that abortion is an international human right”. The advocacy group argued that “when the Biden administration consistently confuses ‘women’s health care’ with ‘abortion access’, it leaves the range of life-saving health and social services for women underresearched, underfunded and understaffed. ”
The Biden administration’s consistent promotion of abortion has not gone down well with pro-life activists, with one pro-life leader suggesting the president’s pro-abortion advocacy should have made him ineligible to speak at the breakfast annual national prayer breakfast on Thursday.
Prof. Frank Pavone, the founder of Priests for Life, declared on Twitter on Thursday that “I don’t think Joe Biden should show up at Nat’l Prayer Breakfast today.”
“It’s an offense to #God to worship him while promoting the direct killing of babies by #abortion,” Pavone proclaimed. Biden, a professing Catholic, spoke at the breakfast, calling on members of political parties opposing the US Congress to unite because “a united house can do anything”.
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org