In a January 13, 1984 proclamation, President Ronald Reagan designated January 22, 1984 as the first National Sanctity of Human Life Day. The date was chosen to coincide with the 11th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case that legalized abortions in the United States.
Reagan issued the proclamation annually thereafter, designating Sanctity of Human Life Day to be the third Sunday in January, which represents the closest Sunday to the originalJanuary 22 date. His successor, George H. W. Bush, continued the annual proclamation throughout his presidency. Bush's successor, Bill Clinton, discontinued the practice throughout his eight years in office, but Bush's son and Clinton's successor, George W. Bush, resumed the proclamation, and has done so every year since his inauguration.
National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2009
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of AmericaAll 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.