By the President of the United States of America
Americans have demonstrated their commitment to the belief "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." This tradition of generosity and reverence for human life stands in marked contrast with the prevalence of abortion in America today--some 1.5 million children lost each year; more than 4,000 each day. This is shocking evidence of just how far we have strayed from our Nation's most cherished values and beliefs. Thus we pause on this National Sanctity of Human Life Day to call attention to the tragedy of abortion and to recognize the many individuals who are working to restore respect for human life in our Nation.
Advances in science and technology have offered us tremendous new insight on life in the womb: parents can now hear their unborn child's heartbeat as early as 8 weeks of age; physicians can monitor the baby's development using high-resolution sonography; and they may even diagnose and treat abnormalities before birth. How terribly ironic it is that, at one hospital or clinic, an unborn child may be carefully treated as a patient, while at another facility--perhaps just a few blocks away--another innocent child may become a victim of abortion.
Recognizing the tragedy of abortion and the feelings of desperation that lead some women to make such a painful, devastating choice, concerned individuals throughout the United States are working to help women choose life for their unborn children. On this occasion we recognize the many generous Americans who--with nothing to gain for themselves--reach out to women in need through crisis pregnancy centers, residential facilities, mentoring programs, and a host of other support services. We also recognize the many social services professionals, attorneys, and counselors who assist in promoting the adoption option, and we salute each of the courageous women who make this unselfish choice for their children. Such works of generosity and compassion are saving lives and, yes, slowly but surely turning hearts--one woman, one couple, one community at a time.
The struggle to overcome abortion in the United States--to educate individuals about life in the womb, to restore reverence for the miracle of creation, and to expand alternatives for women in need--is far from ended. While the struggle may be a long and difficult one, many Americans know that it is a cause from which we cannot retreat. And because it is a cause that appeals directly to the conscience of the Nation--a Nation that has, time and again, demonstrated its capacity to rediscover its highest ideals, ideals rooted in our belief in the God-given rights and dignity of every human being--it is a cause that cannot fail.
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 17, 1993, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. I call on 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 to reaffirm our commitment to respect the life and dignity of every human being.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of January, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and seventeenth.