5 Things You Should Know About Sanctity of Human Life Day

5 Things You Should Know About Sanctity of Human Life Day

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1. Sanctity of Human Life Day - What is It?

January 22, 2022, marks 49 years since the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade

In 1984 then president, Ronald Reagan, issued a Presidential Proclamation designating January 22 as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. This day marked the 11th anniversary since Roe v. Wade. After 1984, Reagan continued the Proclamation annually so that the third Sunday in January would be recognized as Sanctity of Human Life Day. Reagan claimed that the Supreme Court had “struck down our laws protecting the lives of unborn children.” He is also quoted as saying in 1984 that, “Each year, remarkable advances in prenatal medicine bring ever more dramatic confirmation of what common sense told us all along—that the child in the womb is simply what each of us once was: a very young, very small, dependent, vulnerable member of the human family.”

Many churches recognize Sanctity of Human Life Day on the third Sunday of the month; this year the day will be observed January 16.

2. Abortion in the United States

In 1973, the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade established a woman’s absolute, constitutional right to abortion. 

Casey v. Planned Parenthood in 1993, created the “undue burden” standard, which held that the Court would invalidate state laws that had “the purpose or effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus.”

It’s estimated that more than 62 million abortions have occured since it was legalized in 1973. However, the number is likely much higher, because many states failed to report their numbers for several years. 

3. Abortion in 2021

A few key things happened regarding abortion rights in the US last year, most notably the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court case. The Court’s ruling, which is scheduled to take place in June or July of 2022, could drastically shift current abortion laws. You can click here to see a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the details of this case.

Also noteworthy is the FDA’s decision in December 2021 to permanently allow abortion pills to be received by mail. Previously, an in-person requirement existed in order for individuals to receive the first of two pills (mifepristone) for a medication abortion. The rule was temporarily suspended in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, but now the change has been made permanently.

Estimates show that abortion pills account for nearly 40% of all abortions. This new decision will make medication abortions more readily accessible. However, the rule will be overridden in 19 states that already have bans in place against mail order abortion pills.

Access to medication abortion may have become easier, but the decision still carries with it significant risks. If you or someone you know is considering the abortion pill, here are 5 things you should know about a medication abortion.

4. Abortion in the Triad

In 2020, there were 1,517 abortions in Forsyth County. That’s a 22% increase from 2019. In Guilford County, there were 2,800 abortions in 2020—a 10% increase from 2019.

5. What You Can Do

Women consider abortion for different reasons, but every decision is fueled by one common thing: fear. Fear is powerful; but at The Pregnancy Network, we believe women can be empowered to face their unplanned pregnancies without fear. If you believe that both women and the unborn deserve better than abortion, there are several practical ways you can provide support in your community.

At The Pregnancy Network, we believe prayer is powerful and effective. Commit to pray for women facing unplanned pregnancies. Pray for courage and wisdom as they make their decisions. Pray for the staff and volunteers at The Pregnancy Network and other pregnancy resource centers who serve women and their families every day. You can sign up for TPN’s weekly phone prayer meeting by clicking here.

More than 200 volunteers serve at The Pregnancy Network. Our organization is volunteer-led and staff-supported. While staff facilitate the organization, volunteers ultimately carry out the mission. We believe every individual has a vital role to play in the mission of TPN. Click here to take your first step and attend our First Look.

The Pregnancy Network is a non-profit organization funded by individuals just like you. Your generous donations allow us to offer free services to women who face unplanned pregnancies. Click here to learn about the variety of ways you can give.

​​You may have chosen to parent, had an abortion, made an adoption plan, or suffered a pregnancy loss. No matter what you’ve been through, we want to hear—and share—your story. By sharing your story with others, you can help empower other women to face their unplanned pregnancies without fear, or grow toward healing. If you are interested in sharing your story, click here.

Find Your Place

At The Pregnancy Network, we believe every life has dignity, value, and purpose. We invite you to join us as we advocate for women and the unborn children they carry. If you’d like resources about Sanctity of Human Life Day to share on social media or within your church, you can access those here.

Every person makes an impact on the life of another. You have a vital role to play in this mission, and we can’t wait for you to get started. Together, we can empower more women to face their unplanned pregnancies without fear.

Mary Holloman

Mary Holloman

Mary is the Communications Coordinator at The Pregnancy Network. She has written for a variety of online publications, is a contributing author for two books, and her debut picture book is set to release in spring 2023.