Culture,  Politics

National Sanctity of Human Life Day

Today President George W. Bush declared January 18, 2009 as “National Sanctity of Human Life Day” (NSHLD). President Reagan began the tradition of designating this annual observance (which typically falls on the Sunday closest to the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, January 22, 1973).

One thing to note about the President’s action today. Reagan, Bush, and Bush all made the annual proclamation, while Clinton did not. Given his record of support for abortion rights, it is unlikely that Obama will continue the tradition during his administration. So this is probably the last presidential proclamation of NSHLD that we will see for at least the next 4-8 years.

Here’s the entire text of President Bush’s proclamation:


National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2009
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

All human life is a gift from our Creator that is sacred, unique, and worthy of protection. On National Sanctity of Human Life 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.

The most basic duty of government is to protect the life of the innocent. My Administration has 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. In 2002, I was honored to sign into law the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which extends legal protection to children who survive an abortion attempt. I signed legislation in 2003 to ban the cruel practice of partial-birth abortion, and that law represents our commitment to building a culture of life in America. Also, I was proud to sign the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004, which allows authorities to charge a person who causes death or injury to a child in the womb with a separate offense in addition to any charges relating to the mother.

America is a caring Nation, and our values should guide us as we harness the gifts of science. In our zeal for new treatments and cures, we must never abandon our fundamental morals. We can achieve the great breakthroughs we all seek with reverence for the gift of life.

The sanctity of life is written in the hearts of all men and women. On this day and throughout the year, we aspire to build a society in which every child is welcome in life and protected in law. 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.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 18, 2009, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. I call upon all 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.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.



  • rafe

    That’s a pretty cool “proclamation.”

    Do you guys think the abortion rate will increase or decrease during Obama’s presidency? (Honest question.)

  • rafe

    I was in a long grocery store check-out line yesterday. In order to kill the time, I picked up the latest edition of Ebony magazine. The lead story was a provocative piece on Michelle and Barack. It included testimonials on how the commitment and fidelity of this couple was inspiring many across the country. There was alot of talk about beauty of monogamy and the value of raising children as a committed couple.

  • Tom Fuerst

    I don’t need the government affirming the sanctity of human life. I know human life is sanctified with or without their proclamation.

    What’s important is whether or not the church is genuinely pro-life, or if, like the government so often is, it is merely pro-life in its rhetoric.

  • Darius T

    “I don’t need the government affirming the sanctity of human life. I know human life is sanctified with or without their proclamation.”

    True, but we should appreciate it when our leaders affirm it as well. I know that murder is wrong, but it is nice when the government outlaws it.

  • rafe


    I can see how you can make that projection. However, it also stands to reason that we might see a significant increase in marriages, a decrease in divorces, and a decrease in abortions among the black community.

    In my little sphere, much attention has been given to embracing responsibility by our local (black) leaders. Things like senseless violence, unwanted pregnancy and attaining education have been the most conspicuous focus points.

    But, like you said, we’ll have to wait and see.

  • Janie

    Barrack Obama is pro-abortion and pro homosexuality–how do you think that abortion will decrease and monogamy will increase under his leadership? The church he attended and baptized his children in is anti-America.
    I have to say, I’m very concerned about our safety with him in office, not to mention the safety of the unborn child.

  • Nathan

    Remember, the black community is more religious on average than all other communities. Moreover, the black community was a huge factor in Prop 8 in California being voted in.

    Barack Obama and his wife Michele have the opportunity to project to the black community that working hard at education and staying committed in marriage can lead to unbelievable opportunites.

    I don’t think most of us can fathom the impact of this family on the black community. We should pray that the president-elect would use his bully-pulpit to convey these truths to the nation and especially to the black community.

    Should those things happen and the young people in black communities follow that example it could have tremendous consequences on teenage pregnancy, divorce rates, etc.

  • Nathan


    On the one hand I understand what you are saying. However, do you really think that the election of the first black president of the United States will adversely affect the black community as a whole.

    Do you not think that other black children now believe they can actually fufill the American dream? I think you are being a little harsh. Certainly, Obama’s statements on many things are horrible, but the entirety of his election transcends that in a cultural way.

  • Darius T

    Ah, now I see what you’re saying. You believe that because a black man won, other black men will suddenly feel inspired to stop being the underclass and actually strive for “the American dream.” I am not so hopeful… many blacks in this country have used the “America is a white country” argument for so long that their sense of being wronged and feelings of entitlement are now self-sustaining. The policies of our government (especially those of the Democrats) have only served to further those feelings. Much like the destruction of the nuclear family in the white underclass of Britain, the disintegration of the traditional family within the American black community is so complete as to make reversal of it nearly impossible. The liberal intelligentsia has largely won on that front…

  • Alando


    Your tone is very condescending and disingenious. I’m not sure if you are a Christian or not, but if so I would humbly ask you to prayerfully consider reading Eph. 4:29-32.

    Secondly, as a Black man, who was by God’s grace privileged to be raised in a family lineage that was well educated and worked hard and NEVER had a sense of entitlement, I must say with the example of my grandfather, father and uncles, my own family and I are experiencing the benefits of their example by continuing to excel in my particular field of discipline(IT professional).

    Having said that, compelling examples do have consequences(BTW, I did not vote for Obama on the basis of his pro-choice position), nonetheless, I have had the opportunity of talking with MANY “Black” men who have been and will continue to be inspired by his election to be President of our country. He may not be a perfect model, but he does provide a model for many in the underprivileged African-American communities that is contrary and compellingly better than many current models in those community. I’m not one on the outside looking in and making judgements, but one speaking from having a foot in those communities, because I have family that exist in those communities and I know that they need to hear the Gospel as well.

    “many blacks in this country have used the “America is a white country” argument for so long that their sense of being wronged and feelings of entitlement are now self-sustaining”

    Mark my words, your statement above will soon prove to be as false just as the one below.

    “the disintegration of the traditional family within the American black community is so complete as to make reversal of it nearly impossible”


  • Darius T

    Alando, good words. However, please re-read my last comment and notice that I said “many” black men. Not all. I know of plenty of black men who are responsible, upstanding leaders in their communities just as I know plenty of white men who are anything but. However, the generalization stands true at this point in time in this country. It’s not a racist thing to point out, just a fact (just like it’s a fact that the underclass in Britain is irresponsible and entitled but white). Skin color has nothing to do with it, just a sad coincidence in this country that the historically wronged group of people is also the one most prone to self-degradation (read: abortion and hip hop).

    And the last sentence you quoted of mine is unfortunately correct… but note that I said “nearly impossible.” With God, all things are possible. So perhaps He will have mercy and remove the scales off the eyes of both white and black Americans to see truth and reality.

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