WASHINGTON (BP)–President Bush has issued a sanctity of human life proclamation, declaring Americans are obligated to “defend the life of the innocent and the powerless.”
The president proclaimed Jan. 16 as National Sanctity of Human Life Day two days prior to the observance. The Southern Baptist Convention observed the same date as Sanctity of Human Life Sunday on its denominational calendar.
The Supreme Court’s decision legalizing abortion was announced Jan. 22, 1973, and pro-life Americans have held events protesting the ruling and promoting protection for unborn life near the yearly anniversaries since that time.
In his proclamation, Bush said, “Across our country, we must continue to encourage our citizens to make ours a more just and welcoming society in which every child is born into a loving family and protected by law. We will work with decency and respect to change hearts and minds, one person at a time. In doing so, we will build a lasting culture of life and a more compassionate society.”
The president said his administration maintains its commitment to “the steadfast belief in the dignity of every human being and the promise of every life.” He cited enactment of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, Unborn Victims of Violence Act and Born-alive Infants Protection Act as examples of pro-life gains in his first term. Bush said his administration will continue to promote abstinence, adoption and crisis pregnancy programs.
The annual March for Life, which is attended by tens of thousands of pro-lifers, will be held March 24 in Washington, D.C.
The Supreme Court issued two rulings on Jan. 22, 1973, that resulted in abortion being legalized throughout pregnancy for virtually any reason. The Roe v. Wade opinion struck down all state laws prohibiting abortion, and the Doe v. Bolton ruling defined maternal health as a reason for permitting abortion late in pregnancy so expansively as to allow abortion for all reasons.