[PART 1 OF 6]
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan established National Sanctity of Human Life Day to commemorate the millions of innocent lives lost through the legalization of abortion in this country.
Since that first declaration nearly 25 years ago, National Sanctity of Human Life Day has been recognized every year by proclamation of the sitting President of the United States (except for the years that Bill Clinton served as President), on the third Sunday of January. That date was chosen because it is the Sunday that falls closest to the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision of January 22, 1973.
Although abortion is still at the forefront of the concerns that are brought to light by National Sanctity of Human Life Day, the issues have been expanded to bioethics at large, including such other more recent issues as:
• Stem Cell Research
• Physician Assisted Suicide
• Medical Decision-Making
• End of Life Issues
National Sanctity of Human Life Day represents an American commitment to protecting human life based on the belief that every human being has rights, dignity, and value.
Here are a few excerpts from the proclamations that have been issued by President George W. Bush declaring National Sanctity of Human Life Day for the past few years.
America was founded on the principle that we are all endowed by our Creator with the right to life and that every individual has dignity and worth. National Sanctity of Human Life Day helps foster a culture of life and reinforces our commitment to building a compassionate society that respects the value of every human being.
Among the most basic duties of Government is to defend the unalienable right to life. We have a responsibility in America to defend the life of the innocent and the powerless.
When we seek to advance science and improve our lives, we must always preserve human dignity and remember that human life is a gift from our Creator. We must not sanction the creation of life only to destroy it. America must pursue the tremendous possibilities of medicine and research and at the same time remain an ethical and compassionate society.
National Sanctity of Human Life Day is an opportunity to strengthen our resolve in creating a society where every life has meaning and our most vulnerable members are protected and defended, including unborn children, the sick and dying, and persons with disabilities and birth defects. Together, we can work toward a day when the dignity and humanity of every person is respected.
As evidenced by these Presidential proclamations, the sanctity of human life is such an important issue at the societal level, that for the past 23 years it has merited a National Day of recognition designed to call attention to its importance.
Part 1: “The Sanctity of Human Life”
Part 2: “Is Human Life Holy?”
Part 3: “What About Capital Punishment?”
Part 4: “I Wanna Be a Policeman”
Part 5: “Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines”
Part 6: “Abortion“
Next: “Is Human Life Holy?“
- Official Portrait of President Reagan 1981 (Wikipedia), Public Domain