Celebrating Sanctity of Human Life Month
Part 1: History & Timeline
This month marks five decades since the U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion in our country. During the past 50 years, more than 63 million unborn lives have been sacrificed as a result. But with the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, people everywhere are engaged in new conversations about abortion and the rights of human life.
To help you explore your thoughts and convictions in the abortion conversation, we’ve prepared a four-week blog series on Sanctity of Human Life Month—what it is, how it began, why it’s important, and how you can support it.
How It All Began… On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court ruled on the landmark case Roe v. Wade, which made access to abortion a federal right in all 50 states. Since that day, many other movements have strongly opposed the legalization of abortion – resulting in a passionate 50-year discussion about an unborn child’s right to life.
During President Ronald Regan’s term in office, he proclaimed January 22 as National Sanctity of Human Life Day, in observance of the many lives affected by the Roe v. Wade ruling.
Since then, except during President Clinton’s tenure, the day has been observed annually.
In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. This decision has left individual states with the freedom to support, amend or ban abortion rights within their borders.
The Timeline: From Roe vs. Wade (1973) to Roe vs. Wade (2022)
· 1973: Roe v. Wade – The legal case was won by Jane Roe, a pregnant woman, who went to the U.S. Supreme Court for her right to get an abortion, which was illegal in her resident state of Texas.
· 1984: The First Sanctity of Human Life Day – Opposing the Supreme Court’s ruling on its 11th anniversary, President Regan proclaimed January 22 as the annual day to celebrate the Sanctity of Human Life.
· 1993-2001: No Observance – During the eight years of President Clinton’s term, there is no observance of Sanctity of Human Life Day.
· 2001: Observance Reinstated – President George W. Bush reinstated the day’s observance and affirmed legal protection to an infant born after a failed abortion.
· 2022: Overturning of Roe v. Wade – U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade legislation, leaving each state to determine its own abortion accessibility conditions.
Throughout history and devoid of political affiliation, Sanctity of Human Life month emphasizes the importance of protecting and honoring human life.
Is this the first time you have heard about the Sanctity of Life? Comment below if you learned something new!