National Sanctity of Human Life Day began in 1984 with a proclamation by President Ronald Reagan. He said:
“I call upon the citizens of this blessed land to gather on this day in homes and places of worship to give thanks for the gift of life, and to reaffirm our commitment to the dignity of every human being and the sanctity of each human life.”
President Reagan knew the importance of reminding us that America was founded on the idea of preserving human dignity. He pointed to Thomas Jefferson who declared the truth that God has written on human hearts when he famously penned the Declaration of Independence:
This year Sanctity of Human Life day falls on the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the abhorrent U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. While we are called to raise awareness of the inherent value of every human life, we also mourn for the more than 50 million aborted U.S. citizens – an entire generation of innocents.
From the first moment of existence human life deserves to be recognized as sacred. No woman aborts her baby because the choice is legal. A mother aborts her child because she believes she has NO choice. Every day, we hear from women who have been devastated by lasting physical, emotional, and/or spiritual effects of abortion.
Women deserve a safe haven of compassion where their physical, emotional, and spiritual health is protected and their dignity is restored. This is exactly what pregnancy help ministries do for women who are unsure about the future of their pregnancies.
Heartbeat International, founded in 1971, is the first network of pro-life pregnancy help ministries founded in the U.S. and the most expansive in the world. Heartbeat is a Christ-centered nonprofit association of community-based pregnancy help centers, pregnancy help medical clinics, maternity homes, nonprofit adoption agencies, and abortion recovery programs in 50 countries. Heartbeat encourages, equips, and envisions 1,200 affiliates to provide alternatives to abortion with love and compassion.
Heartbeat reaches medically underserved women vulnerable to abortion and rescues them and their babies through an effective network of care. These pro-life havens strive to preserve maternal health and protect child wellbeing.
Heartbeat rescues those we reach by restoring dignity through ministry designed to reconnect each woman with her inherent value and the inestimable worth of the life growing within her – allowing lives to be saved and changed.
Heartbeat renews broken cities for life through a strategic effort to increase the number of ultrasound-equipped pregnancy help medical centers in large cities where most abortions are performed.
Like a thousand points of light across America, Heartbeat’s network of care makes every day a “Sanctity of Human Life” day.
When a woman walks into a pregnancy help ministry, she is met by compassionate people with a passion for life who proclaim that her child is sacred.
Three years before his national proclamation, President Reagan paid tribute to the lifesaving work of pregnancy help centers, maternity homes, and adoption agencies in Heartbeat’s nonprofit network by sending a letter of congratulations on our tenth anniversary. Reagan wrote:
“The work of your organization is of particular significance to me. I am sure you are aware of my feelings, which I have expressed often, on the question of abortion. I believe that when we talk about abortion, we are talking about two lives.
For this reason the services which you provide expectant mothers with unwanted pregnancies are vitally important. Through guidance and caring, you help women to explore alternatives to abortion which offer a positive and realistic solution for the mother and for the most defenseless and innocent among us, the unborn child.”
President Reagan understood that respect for all human life, from the moment of conception until natural death, would restore hope in our future. The beauty of God’s abundant love is apparent through His magnificent creation – which is every mother and child – which is us.
January 22, 2012 marks the beginning of the 40th year of the U.S. government condoning the destruction of the child in the womb. I would like to encourage everyone to help raise awareness by talking about the sanctity of human life not just on this Sunday, but everyday throughout the year.
You can learn more about how Heartbeat’s life-affirming network is providing loving alternatives at HeartbeatInternational.org.
LifeNews Note: Virginia Cline is the Director of Public Relations & Public Policy for Heartbeat International.