Day of Sanctity and Protection of Human Life in the Philippines Date in the current year: January 21, 2024

Day of Sanctity and Protection of Human Life in the Philippines The Day of Sanctity and Protection of Human Life is observed in the Philippines on the third Sunday of January. It was established in 2003 to raise awareness about the threats to the sanctity of human life, particularly abortion.

The ethical and religious concept of the sanctity of life, also known as the inviolability of life, implies that sentient life is sacred and therefore not to be violated. In many Eastern religions, it is applied to both human and animal life, whereas in the West, the phrase “sanctity of life” typically refers to human life.

There are a lot of moral and ethical issues associated with the sanctity of human life including the morality or immorality of life support removal, euthanasia, suicide, capital punishment, and, of course, abortion. Many Christian denominations believe the sanctity of life to be inherent; life is created in the womb and therefore is sacred, holy, and precious from the moment of conception. Although the Philippines is officially a secular state, about 79% of its population belong to the Catholic Church, known for its anti-abortion stance.

The Constitution of the Philippines that has been in effect since 1987 explicitly states that the life of the mother and the life of the unborn child must be equally protected from conception in order to strengthen the sanctity of human life. This provision was added with the intention to provide legal grounds for the abortion ban. Abortion has been illegal in the Catholic majority Philippines for over a century and is highly stigmatized.

President of the Philippines Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declared the third Sunday of January as the Day of Sanctity and Protection of Human Life in 2003 in order to remind the general public that human life is a gift from God and thus must be respected and protected at all costs, as well as to highlight the threats to the sanctity of human life and the urgent need to eliminate them.

The Day of Sanctity and Protection of Human Life is not the only observance that aims to celebrate the sanctity of human life and highlight the immorality of abortion. National Sanctity of Human Life Day has been proclaimed by several presidents of the United States (Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush and Donald Trump) on or around January 22.

Such a date was chosen because on January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Roe v. Wade, in which access to abortion was deemed a constitutional right. In 2022, Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which was denounced by leading Democratic politicians, international observers, and more than a half of all Americans.

In addition, January 22 (or January 23 if January 22 falls on a Sunday) was declared as the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod observes the Sunday closest to January 22 as the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.

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Day of Sanctity and Protection of Human Life, observances in the Philippines, abortion in the Philippines, sanctity of life