.- In what may be his last declaration as U.S. president, George W. Bush has announced that he is establishing January 18, 2009 as "National Sanctity of Human Life Day."
President Bush writes that "All human life is a gift from our Creator that is sacred, unique, and worthy of protection.
"On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, our country recognizes that each person, including every person waiting to be born, has a special place and purpose in this world. We also underscore our dedication to heeding this message of conscience by speaking up for the weak and voiceless among us."
Looking back at his Administration, the president made the case for it being one "committed to building a culture of life." Among the achievements for life he highlighted are: "vigorously promoting adoption and parental notification laws, opposing Federal funding for abortions overseas, encouraging teen abstinence, and funding crisis pregnancy programs."
Additionally, Bush said that he was "honored to sign into law the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act in 2002." The law extends legal protection to children who survive an abortion attempt and featured prominently in the presidential election since President-elect Obama opposed a state level version of the bill when he was in the Illinois senate.
President Bush further mentioned the federal ban on partial-birth abortions, which he signed in 2003, and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004. The latter piece of legislation allows authorities to charge a person who causes death or injury to a child in the womb with a separate offense in addition to any charges relating to the mother.
In a reference to biomedical advances, Bush described America as a "caring Nation" which must never abandon its "fundamental morals" in its "zeal for new treatments and cures." "We can achieve the great breakthroughs we all seek with reverence for the gift of life," he added.
The president closed his declaration by saying that "the sanctity of life is written in the hearts of all men and women" and that National Sanctity of Life Day should be dedicated building "a society in which every child is welcome in life and protected in law."