Origins & History

The traditions and precedents we are building on.


The first National Sanctity of Human Life Day was proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, designating the 11th anniversary of Roe v Wade when the Supreme Court of the United States legalised abortion-on-demand across the nation as the annual date for abortion awareness.

Since then, American churches have used the day to celebrate God’s gift of life, to commemorate the many lives lost to abortion, and commit themselves to protecting human life at every stage.

Every subsequent Republican President has also continued this tradition each year.

Australian History

The first Australian liberal abortion legislation was passed in the South Australian Parliament in 1969. Attorney General Robin Millhouse was the architect of the radical abortion laws. Forty-five years later he admitted great regret for laws which were interpreted too widely resulting in abortion on demand.

That legislation received assent of the Governor and came into effect on January 8, 1970.

First Legalisation

26 May, 1969 was the date abortion was first legalised anywhere in Australia. Justice Menhennitt ruled in a case in the Supreme Court of Victoria that abortion might be considered lawfully justified if “necessary to protect the physical or mental health” of the mother.

The Law Library of Victoria calls the Menhennitt ruling “one of the best known cases of ‘Judge made law’“.

“Mental health” became a loophole which meant nothing more than an unwanted baby.

This is a nondenominational, nonpartisan project. As a brand new initiative, the Sanctity of Life Sunday website resources are still being developed. If you can contribute anything to the content here, your collaboration would be truly appreciated. Please send content, links and attachments to admin@ChurchAndState.com.au.