Happy Sanctity of Human Life Day

Bush declares a national day to honor the "unborn" -- and conveniently ignore the dead.

By Kate Harding

Published January 16, 2009 2:07PM (EST)

If you thought the only holiday this long weekend was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, you'll want to grab some extra chips and dip in case friends drop by to celebrate "National Sanctity of Human Life Day." That's this Sunday, Jan. 18, as declared yesterday by George W. Bush.

And just in case you were thinking, "Well, it's not like 'sanctity of human life' is an intrinsically objectionable concept -- maybe there's even some chance this is not a completely fucked-up gift to anti-choicers," Bush clarifies that point for us in his presidential proclamation: "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."

Seriously, you guys, "Every person waiting to be born." Do you suppose the first draft included "Today, we recognize every twinkle in every potential daddy's eye"?

Not considered as worthy of mention as zygotes in a proclamation on the Sanctity of Human Life: civilian and military casualties of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, victims of Hurricane Katrina, victims of torture by the U.S. military, hundreds of dead Palestinians, or Americans executed under the death penalty, to name just a few. Feel free to add to that list in comments. And then, if you don't feel much like celebrating National Sanctity of Human Life Day, consider taking part in the virtual shoe-throwing project being organized for Bush's last day in office.


Kate Harding

Kate Harding is the author of Asking For It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture--and What We Can Do About It, available from Da Capo Press in August 2015. Previously, she collaborated with Anna Holmes, Amanda Hess, and a cast of thousands on The Book of Jezebel, and with Marianne Kirby on Lessons from the Fat-o-Sphere. You might also remember her as the founding editor of Shapely Prose (2007-2010). Kate's essays have appeared in the anthologies Madonna & Me, Yes Means Yes, Feed Me, and Airmail: Women of Letters. She holds an M.F.A. in fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a B.A. in English from University of Toronto, and is currently at work on a Ph.D. in creative writing from Bath Spa University

MORE FROM Kate Harding

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Broadsheet Love And Sex