‘Sanctity of Life Sunday’ Urges Prayer to End Abortion
First proclaimed by Ronald Reagan in 1984, the annual day is a call to protect gifts given by God
While the mainstream media was busy being enthralled by the women’s marches around the country this past Saturday, there was another important celebration over the weekend.
Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, was what is known in many churches as “Sanctity of Life Sunday.” It is an annual day to celebrate the gift of life given by God, and to remember the lives lost to and affected by abortion. It’s a call to protect human life at every stage.
“My approach has always been to listen well and try to understand the stressors in [that woman’s] life that are causing her to consider ending her pregnancy.”
In 1984, pro-life President Ronald Reagan proclaimed Sunday, Jan. 22, the first annual “Sanctity of Life” day. Every year, the Sunday that falls closest to Jan. 22 is “Sanctity of Life Sunday” in response to the Jan. 22, 1973, anniversary of the legalization of abortion. The proclamation was upheld by both George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.
Since Roe v. Wade, there have been nearly 60 million abortions in the United States. Although recent statistics show that the abortion rate has decreased, it is still pushed by organizations such as Planned Parenthood that argue abortion is a reproductive right.
But there are many resources beyond Planned Parenthood available to women to help them deal with unplanned pregnancies. Hope Pregnancy Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is one such organization. It is a free pregnancy resource center that offers services such as pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and education on both pregnancy and parenting.
Now, with the March for Life in Washington coming up, Carie White — the former director of Hope Pregnancy Center — spoke with LifeZette about how she worked to reach the many women who entered the center wanting help, including those with the intent to abort their pregnancies.
“My approach has always been to listen well and try to understand the stressors in [that woman’s] life that are causing her to consider ending her pregnancy,” White said.
“Many times she is lacking the support of men in her life — not only the father of the baby but also her own father,” said White. “I truly believe that God puts in the heart of every woman the desire to nurture a child. Ending a pregnancy is not and never will be a natural thing to do. I let her know that there are physical, emotional, and spiritual dimensions to decisions. I encourage her to get all the information she can before deciding.”
White added, “Emotionally, the fact that she is pregnant today will never disappear. She will very likely experience negative emotions that may present in the future. Spiritually, I would ask her about her beliefs and explore her understanding of God. There are many opportunities to share the Gospel. If she is a Christian, she can easily relate to God’s plan for her and that it includes the life of this child that He created.”
But for many women who believe abortion is their only option, it is a comfort to meet the caring and attentive volunteers who desire to treat these women with respect and help educate them about their available choices.
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb …”
At Hope Pregnancy Center, expectant mothers have the opportunity to learn about pregnancy and delivery, as well as caring for a baby. They can get every baby item they will need by attending classes — and those classes last throughout pregnancy and up until the baby turns one.
Hope Pregnancy Center works to meet both the physical and spiritual needs of its clients.
For the ladies who choose abortion and suffer negative emotional and spiritual effects, Hope Pregnancy Center offers a Bible study. The women are able to experience forgiveness.
“Sanctity of Life” Sunday is an opportunity to give biblical perspective about the lives that God Himself created and to pray for the wisdom of our courts and government leaders. It is a celebration of life and also a moment to mourn the most vulnerable lives that have been taken in the womb.
As it is written in Jeremiah 1:5: “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb…”
Katie Nations, married for 15 years, is a working mother of three young children. She lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.