Official White House Photo (Public Domain)

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed a presidential declaration proclaiming Wednesday, January 22, 2020 to be National Sanctity of Human Life Day.

Read the declaration below (in italics):

Every person — the born and unborn, the poor, the downcast, the disabled, the infirm, and the elderly — has inherent value.  Although each journey is different, no life is without worth or is inconsequential; the rights of all people must be defended.  On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, our Nation proudly and strongly reaffirms our commitment to protect the precious gift of life at every stage, from conception to natural death.

Recently, we have seen decreases in the total number and rate of abortions in our country.  From 2007-2016, the most recent period of analysis, the number and rate of abortions decreased by 24 percent and 26 percent, respectively.  The rate of teen pregnancies — the vast majority of which are unplanned — has almost continuously decreased over the last quarter century, contributing to the lowest rate of abortions among adolescents since the legalization of abortion in 1973.  All Americans should celebrate this decline in the number and rate of abortions, which represents lives saved.  Still, there is more to be done, and, as President, I will continue to fight to protect the lives of the unborn.  I signed into law legislation under the Congressional Review Act that allows States and other grantees to exclude organizations that perform abortions from their Title X projects.  My Administration has also issued regulations to ensure Title X family planning projects are clearly separated from those that perform, promote, or refer for abortion as a method of family planning; to protect the conscience rights of healthcare workers and organizations, including with respect to abortion; and to ensure the Federal Government does not force employers that object, based on religious belief or moral conviction, to provide insurance for contraceptives, including those they believe cause early abortions.  Additionally, I have called on the Congress to act to prohibit abortions of later-term babies who can feel pain.

My Administration is also building an international coalition to dispel the concept of abortion as a fundamental human right.  So far, 24 nations representing more than a billion people have joined this important cause.  We oppose any projects that attempt to assert a global right to taxpayer‑funded abortion on demand, up to the moment of delivery.  And we will never tire of defending innocent life — at home or abroad.

As a Nation, we must remain steadfastly dedicated to the profound truth that all life is a gift from God, who endows every person with immeasurable worth and potential.  Countless Americans are tireless defenders of life and champions for the vulnerable among us.  We are grateful for those who support women experiencing unexpected pregnancies, those who provide healing to women who have had abortions, and those who welcome children into their homes through foster care and adoption.  On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, we celebrate the wonderful gift of life and renew our resolve to build a culture where life is always revered.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 22, 2020, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day.  Today, I call on the Congress to join me in protecting and defending the dignity of every human life, including those not yet born.  I call on the American people to continue to care for women in unexpected pregnancies and to support adoption and foster care in a more meaningful way, so every child can have a loving home.  And finally, I ask every citizen of this great Nation to listen to the sound of silence caused by a generation lost to us, and then to raise their voices for all affected by abortion, both seen and unseen.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.

Pro-life activists responded to the declaration.

“Forty-seven years ago, the United States Supreme Court announced their decision in Roe v. Wade. Since that time, millions of children have lost their lives, and millions of women have been devastated by the tragedy of abortion. In reading the proclamation declaring today National Sanctity of Life Day, I was renewed with hope that in the near future we can correct the ill-fated decisions of Roe and Doe,” Allan Parker, president of The Justice Foundation, said in a released statement.

“Under the leadership of President Trump, America has become a leader in protecting the rights and the inherent value of every person regardless of their race, gender, religion, or age. By rejecting anti-life healthcare rules, appointing pro-life members of the Federal Judiciary and leading dozens of countries in rejecting the pro-abortion idea that ending the life of an unborn child is a human right, this administration has been a strong ally for the pro-life movement and the rights of all. While there is still much to do, we are heartened by President Trump’s steadfast commitment to the God-given value of human life,” he added.

Thomas Glessner, president of National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, said, “For nearly 30 years, NIFLA has worked to create a culture where all life — born and unborn, regardless of infirmities, handicaps, age, or gender — is protected under the law and cherished in the hearts of the citizens of our republic. This proclamation on the anniversary of the tragic decision of Roe v. Wade renews our spirits and our resolve to achieve an abortion-free America.”

“Through efforts to reject anti-life legislation, appoint pro-life officials and dispel the concept of abortion as a fundamental human right, this administration has inspired the pro-life movement. Furthermore, it has advanced pro-life initiatives in ways never before seen,” he added. “NIFLA applauds President Trump’s commitment to defending innocent life both at home and abroad.”

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, reflected on the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

“January 22 is a tragic day in American history. We cannot escape the consequences of this human genocide unless we stop the slaughter and repent of this terrible sin. Abortion is rebellion against God, the author of human life. Abortion kills innocent children and destroys the dignity of women. We will continue fighting the battle to make the womb a safe place again,” he said.

This precedes the annual March for Life on Friday that is expected to see approximately 500,000 pro-lifers march to the United States Supreme Court.

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