ASRM Submits Comments to HHS on the Agency’s Four Year Strategic Plan

ASRM has provided comments to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the strategic plan the agency drafted to govern its activities for fiscal years 2018-2022. The comments reference an editorial written and published earlier this year in Fertility and Sterility by ASRM President Richard J. Paulson.

The process of drafting and publishing a strategic plan is a regular activity for HHS, and while ASRM pays attention to this process, this year’s plan included language of considerable concern to ASRM and many other reproductive rights organizations. Specifically, the words “beginning at conception” are included in the agency mission statement about serving Americans throughout the life span. Later in the document, a strategic goal indicates research is to be conducted consistent with the understanding that human subjects protections applies to “all human beings from conception to natural death.” The assertion that conception is equivalent to life as a human being has profound ramifications for the treatment of infertility, particularly for in vitro fertilization, and therefore it was important to officially comment on this document.

The strategic plan draft remains open for public comment until October 26.  ASRM members are encouraged to submit their own comments on the strategic plan.  

View the plan here.

Submit your comments by October 26 in any of the following ways:
Fax: (202) 690-5882
Mail: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Strategic Planning Team, Attn: Strategic Plan Comments, 200 Independence Avenue SW., Room 415F, Washington, DC 20201.

The ASRM Bulletin is published by ASRM's Office of Public Affairs to inform Society members of important recent developments. Republication or any other use of the contents of the Bulletin without permission is prohibited. To request permission to quote or excerpt material from the Bulletin, contact Sean Tipton at   


Sean Tipton
Ph: 202-863-2494

Eleanor Nicoll
Ph: 202-863-2349 or 240-274-2209 (mobile)

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