You may have heard the term “Sanctity of Human Life Sunday” before, or perhaps you’ve heard it as it’s acronym “SOHLS” (pronounced like “souls”).
But what is it? Why acknowledge it?
The commemoration of Sanctity of Human Life Sunday traces its roots to a U.S. Supreme Court decision made in 1973, and the presidential proclamation which followed in 1984.
January 22, 1973, was the day the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Roe vs. Wade case that a state law which banned abortions, except to save the life of the mother, was unconstitutional. The ruling made abortion legal in many circumstances, and essentially legalized abortion-on-demand in all 50 states.
On January 22, 1984, President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation designating that day as the first National Sanctity of Human Life Day.
Churches around the United States continue to recognize the third Sunday in January as Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. They use the day to recognize that human beings are created in the image of God and that all human life is sacred – set apart for the worship of and service to Him. They commemorate the many lives lost to and impacted by abortion, and commit themselves to upholding the sanctity of human life at every stage.