On January 13, 1984, then President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation for the first National Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. What he said is worth rehearsing now.
“The values and freedoms we cherish as Americans rest on our fundamental commitment to the sanctity of human life. The first of the ‘unalienable rights’ affirmed by our Declaration of Independence is the right to life itself, a right the Declaration states has been endowed by our Creator on all human beings— whether young or old, weak or strong, healthy or handicapped.
Since 1973, however, more than 15 million unborn children have died in legalized abortions—a tragedy of stunning dimensions that stands in sad contrast to our belief that each life is sacred. These children, over tenfold the number of Americans lost in all our Nation's wars, will never laugh, never sing, never experience the joy of human love; nor will they strive to heal the sick, or feed the poor, or make peace among nations. Abortion has denied them the first and most basic of human rights, and we are infinitely poorer for their loss.
We are poorer not simply for lives not led and for contributions not made, but also for the erosion of our sense of the worth and dignity of every individual. To diminish the value of one category of human life is to diminish us all. Slavery, which treated Blacks as something less than human, to be bought and sold if convenient, cheapened human life and mocked our dedication to the freedom and equality of all men and women. Can we say that abortion—which treats the unborn as something less than human, to be destroyed if convenient—will be less corrosive to the values we hold dear?
We have been given the precious gift of human life, made more precious still by our births in or pilgrimages to a land of freedom. It is fitting, then, on the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade that struck down State anti-abortion laws, that we reflect anew on these blessings, and on our corresponding responsibility to guard with care the lives and freedoms of even the weakest of our fellow human beings.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Sunday, January 22, 1984, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. I call upon the citizens of this blessed land to gather on that day in homes and places of worship to give thanks for the gift of life, and to reaffirm our commitment to the dignity of every human being and the sanctity of each human life.”
What powerful words from our 40th president!
Here we are now 38 years beyond that first Sanctity of Human Life Sunday proclamation and tragically millions of aborted babies beyond the fifteen million President Reagan mentions. However, still, all these years later, pro-life citizens and churches across the country observe the third Sunday of January as Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.
Over the years, all our pro-life presidents have followed the example set by President Reagan in issuing a Sanctity of Human Life Day proclamation. In fact, one of the last official actions President Trump took before leaving office a year ago was to issue a Proclamation on National Sanctity of Life Day.
This year, Sanctity of Human Life Day is recognized either this coming Sunday, January 16 or the following Sunday, January 23, which is just one day beyond the date 49 years ago on January 22, 1973, when the US Supreme Court handed down its infamous and wrongly decided Roe v Wade decision that foisted abortion on demand on all fifty states.
Thankfully, this year, we have the best opportunity we have had since 1973 to see this dastardly ruling overturned. Perhaps this year more than any other we need Christians and our Bible-believing churches observing Sanctity of Human Life Day, with preaching and teaching that clearly proclaims that God has created and designed human life and praying that the scourge of abortion will be ended and challenging us to do our own sanctity of human life proclamations to our families, our neighbors, to all in our sphere of influence. Such proclamations may not be presidential, but they will be very powerful.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
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