What Events Are Being Held for Sanctity of Human Life Sunday?


Quick Answer

Sanctity of Human Life Day was not observed by presidential proclamation in 2015, nor were official events planned. As of March 2015, no events are planned for 2016. The last official proclamation was in 2008 by George W. Bush, who called on Americans to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies.

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President Ronald Reagan first proclaimed National Sanctity of Life Day on Sunday, Jan. 22, 1984, as a pro-life political gesture on the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade granting women the right to abortion. Reagan urged Americans to acknowledge the day by gathering in their homes and places of worship to give thanks for life. Reagan made a similar proclamation during each succeeding year of his presidency and chose the third Sunday in each year as Sanctity of Human Life Day. President George H. W. Bush continued the practice with official proclamations during each year of his presidency, but President Bill Clinton did not observe the day. Since the presidency of George W. Bush, there has been no presidential proclamation of official observance of National Sanctity of Life Day.

Since its inception, National Sanctity of Human Life Day was highly controversial. Although anti-abortion activists saw it as a pro-life gesture, pro-abortion groups such as Planned Parenthood saw it as an infringement on the rights of women.

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