Thirty-one years ago, President Reagan proclaimed January 22, 1984, the first National Sanctity of Human Life Day. That day marked the eleventh anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. Since then, churches have continued to observe the third Sunday in January as Sanctity of Human Life Day source.
No recent president has emphasized more eloquently than Reagan the value of human life. In his proclamation, Reagan said the following:
“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 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.”1
I am proud to live in a community that recognizes and cherishes the value of human life. I am thankful that we don’t have an abortion center in Winchester, VA. I am glad we have organizations in our community like AbbaCare and New Eve Ministries that offer resources for women who are going through a confusing and troubled time in their lives.
On Sunday, January 18, churches across our land will again observe Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. As we look back on the years since Roe v. Wade, let us never forget how precious life is to God, regardless of whether that life is an unborn baby, innocent journalists in a far-off land or law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
This editorial was published in The Winchester Star on Wednesday, January 14, 2015.
For more information about AbbaCare of Winchester, VA, please visit http://www.abbacare.org/.
For more information about New Eve Ministries of Winchester, VA, please visit neweveministries.org/.