By the President of the United States of America
On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, we affirm the sanctity of human life in all its stages. We recall that at the very beginning of our Nation, Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" are among the "unalienable Rights" with which all people are endowed by God. Similarly, our Constitution recognizes the sanctity of life by providing that no person shall be deprived of life without the due process of law.
On this day, we thank God for the millions of Americans who work every day to affirm the sanctity of life: scientists who devote their lives to researching cures for disabling and deadly diseases; doctors and nurses who care for premature babies, the elderly, and the sick; those who inspire our youth to say "no" to drugs and "yes" to the full richness of life; and those who work to affirm the sanctity of life in our laws and public policy. We recall that when life is threatened. Americans respond energetically and quickly, as when disasters such as Hurricane Hugo or the Loma Prieta earthquake strike. In sorrow, we recall scenes that deny the sanctity of life: babies born addicted to drugs, lives shattered by drugs or alcohol, the elderly who are neglected, the disabled denied their full potential. We are also mindful that children, in particular, need special concern, care, and protection, both before and after birth.
One of the key issues connected with the sanctity of life, abortion, has been a divisive issue in our Nation for many years. The prevalence of abortion in America today is a tragedy not only in terms of human lives lost, but also in terms of the values we hold dear as a Nation. We pray for a recognition that the principle of life's sanctity should guide public policy on this question and others, just as moral principles should guide our individual lives. We pray also for widsom and guidance as those with public responsibilities consider this question. We ask all levels of government and all sectors of society to promot policies to encourage alternatives such as adoption, and to extend policies that make adopting easier for families who want children and can provide a loving, supportive home for them, particularly for children with special needs. We hope for the day when devoted families who want to adopt will no longer be disappointed. On this day, we also thank God for the advances in medicine that have improved the care of unborn children in the womb and premature babies. These scientific advances reinforce the belief that unborn children are persons, entitled to medical care and legal protection.
All stages of human life are precious; all demand recognition of their sanctity. Protection of human life is a reflection of our Nation's most cherished principles. Let us then on this day speak for those who cannot speak and join with other Americans in reaffirming the sanctity of life.
Now, Therefore, I, George 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 Sunday, January 21, 1990, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. I call upon all Americans to reflect on the sanctity of human life in all its stages and to gather in homes and places of worship to give thanks for the gift of life and reaffirm our commitment to respect for life and the dignity of every human being.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fourteenth.