Under the previous administration, the suggestion Care Net recently submitted to the US Department of Health and Human Services would never have been considered.
A couple of weeks ago, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed the following:
“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.”
We were encouraged by this declaration. So, when HHS asked for feedback on its strategic plan, Care Net stepped forward on behalf of its 1,100 pregnancy centers and submitted a radical suggestion:
Make the reduction of abortion an official, stated goal.
We cited documented economic, psychological, and physical reasons that reducing abortion should be a public health objective. The more than 11,000 women who received post-abortion recovery support in 2016, the $26 billion spent on premature births every year, and the 330,000 clients who visit Care Net centers every year gave statistical weight to our recommendation.
Care Net also suggested that the HHS include specific objectives to reach this goal. We advised the HHS to advance the goal of reducing abortion:
- by encouraging health care providers to discuss abortion risks with patients,
- by conducting research on post-abortive outcomes, and
- by educating the public on abortion alternatives.
The Obama administration would never have considered these recommendations @inspirelifenow gave President Trump
Our recommendations were based on the work of pregnancy centers: faithfully serving women and couples who are at-risk for abortion in their communities. Through compassionate care and practical support that helps clients and patients solve underlying life challenges, pregnancy centers reduce the demand for abortion. And centers provide ongoing support regardless of the decisions clients make through abortion recovery support, parenting education, and more.
We also suggested restructuring another objective in the strategic plan to focus on reducing extramarital pregnancies rather than extramarital births. We believe this is consistent with HHS's intent and a positive, life-affirming strategic goal.
After submitting these suggestions, Roland Warren, President and CEO of Care Net provided extended comments to HHS officials via email and these were gratefully received.
If the HHS acts on Care Net’s recommendations, awareness about positive alternatives to abortion will increase, fewer women will see abortion as a necessary evil, and more families will find the support they need to flourish.
Alana Varley, Center Services Assistant, contributed to this post.