On the 47th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, President Trump declared January 22nd the “National Sanctity of Human Life Day.”

The tradition of proclaiming the anniversary of Roe v. Wade stems back to the presidency of Ronald Reagan, who first proclaimed the 22nd to be National Sanctity of Human Life Day in 1984 and did so every year of his presidency.

Both President Bush Sr. and Jr. did the same for their presidencies, as did President Trump in 2018 and 2019. This year, Trump said in his proclamation that:

“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. We celebrate the wonderful gift of life and renew our resolve to build a culture where life is always revered. 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.”

Trump’s proclamation noted the downturn in the rate of abortion in the United States and the decrease in teen pregnancy since 2007 which has led “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.”

Trump said he called upon Congress “to act to prohibit abortions of later-term babies who can feel pain” and to restrict Title X programs from using federal funds to provide abortions.

He called on the nation to “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.”

In the liturgical calendar for the United States, January 22nd is the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children.

“In all the Dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) shall be observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.”

Read the full proclamation from the Whitehouse here.

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