WASHINGTON -- Declaring that every life is "a gift from our Creator that is sacred, unique and worthy of protection," President George W. Bush proclaimed Jan. 18, the Sunday before the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day.
On this day "our country recognizes that each person, including every person waiting to be born, has a special place and purpose in this world. We also underscore our dedication to heeding this message of conscience by speaking up for the weak and voiceless among us," he said in the proclamation issued Jan. 15.
Bush urged Americans "to recognize this day with appropriate ceremonies and to underscore our commitment to respecting and protecting the life and dignity of every human being."
On Jan. 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion, and the Doe v. Bolton decision, which lifted state restrictions on abortion.
In his proclamation, the president noted that his administration had been "committed to building a culture of life by vigorously promoting adoption and parental notification laws, opposing federal funding for abortions overseas, encouraging teen abstinence, and funding crisis pregnancy programs."
Bush also noted the pro-life legislation he signed into law during his presidency, such as the federal law to protect infants born alive after an attempted abortion or other procedure, the federal ban on partial-birth abortion and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.
"We aspire to build a society in which every child is welcome in life and protected in law," he said in the proclamation. "We also encourage more of our fellow Americans to join our just and noble cause. History tells us that with a cause rooted in our deepest principles and appealing to the best instincts of our citizens, we will prevail."