The Declaration of Dependence

Whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.

- President Abraham Lincoln, March 30, 1863

Human history undeniably demonstrates that when a nation becomes divided on the fundamental issue of the value of human life, it is a nation that has placed its future in jeopardy. Whenever a culture accepts the idea that the lives of some human beings are inferior, and thus, disposable, it has embarked upon a dangerous journey down a slippery slope which in the last century brought a once great nation to accept the death camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

The value of human life in America has been significantly degraded from the issuance by the United States Supreme Court of Roe v. Wade on January 22, 1973. Since this decision, nearly 65 million unborn children have died from abortion in the United States. And although Roe has been reversed, we still have a long way to go in restoring protection to the unborn. Over recent years, about one-fifth of all pregnancies in America annually have ended in abortion.

This devaluation of human life has opened the door for the societal acceptance of euthanasia, assisted suicide, human cloning, embryonic and fetal experimentation, and other serious practices undertaken in the name of medical science.

When a nation is confronted with such a diminution in its moral foundation, the nation's spiritual, religious, political, and cultural leaders must issue a warning of impending peril. The devaluation and destruction of the lives of some human beings through abortion requires that we declare the foundational principles of life upon which our nation was birthed and, in so doing, issue a warning to our fellow countrymen.

This prevalent and callous disregard for innocent human life indicates that America has, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, "forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, also multiplied, enriched and strengthened us. We have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!"

We proclaim that in order to heal our nation, we must humbly submit to our Creator and His gracious hand that has preserved us. We must declare our dependence upon Him and His overruling and sovereign power.

In reference to slavery, Thomas Jefferson said, "I tremble in fear for my country when I realize that God is just and that his justice will not sleep forever."

In the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, we declare that God is just and that unless the lives of innocent human beings in America are once again protected by the law, His justice will awaken to bring judgment upon our nation.

In reference to slavery, William Wilberforce, British abolitionist and Member of Parliament, said, "You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know."

In the spirit of William Wilberforce, we declare that this nation cannot continue to look the other way regarding the destruction of innocent human life by abortion and pretend that it does not know of its devastating impact.

In reference to slavery, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that this nation cannot continue to exist "half slave and half free" because a "house divided against itself cannot stand."

In the spirit of Abraham Lincoln, we declare that abortion has made America, once again, a nation that is "half slave and half free." We cannot continue to exist when the lives of some human beings are deemed inferior and thus, can be destroyed.

In reference to slavery, Frederick Douglass, abolitionist and former slave, quoted scripture stating that "righteousness exalteth a nation."

In the spirit of Frederick Douglass, we reaffirm this principle and proclaim that a righteous  nation must protect the lives of all within its boundaries, both born and unborn.

In reference to the holocaust, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Lutheran pastor and martyr, said, "Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act. The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children."

In the spirit of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, we commit ourselves to speak for the innocent unborn children in our nation who cannot speak for themselves.

In reference to segregation and the Jim Crow era, Martin Luther King Jr. said, "He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it."

In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., we declare that we cannot remain silent and passively accept the destruction of innocent human life through abortion.

In reference to abortion, Mother Teresa said, "The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me? There is nothing between. It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."

In the spirit of Mother Teresa, we declare that we stand unified in the name of peace to oppose the spiritual poverty that abortion has brought upon our nation.

In response to this moral breakdown of our nation, we, the undersigned, stand in unity to assert a firm, foundational, and unwavering belief in the sanctity of human life and in the legal personhood of all human beings. In doing so, we declare the following:

  1. The foundational principle of our nation is the Declaration of Independence, which acknowledges that every human being is created equal and endowed by our Creator with the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. These self-evident truths form the bedrock upon which the American republic was built and are the basis of the Judeo-Christian ethic upon which our nation was conceived.
  2. The unalienable right to life is the first of such natural rights given to us by the Creator, and without its protection in law, all other rights are meaningless.
  3. Every human being, born and unborn, is made in the image of God, the Creator and thus, is granted these unalienable rights that no government can deny.
  4. Because every human being, born and unborn, is made in the image of God, every human being is a "person'' accorded value. The value of every person exists not because of race, ethnicity, condition of dependency, circumstances surrounding conception, physical attributes, talents, or societal position but rather, exists because each person is made in the image of God. Accordingly, the life of every innocent person must be protected under the law.
  5. The term "person" applies to all living human beings from the beginning of their biological development, regardless of the method of reproduction, age, race, sex, gender, physical well-being, function, size, level of development, environment, and/or degree of physical or mental dependency and/or disability.
  6. Policies that deny personhood to the unborn leave our most fundamental right – life – open to negotiation. This opens the floodgates for abortion on demand and the further destruction and manipulation of human life.
  7. The restoration of the protection of innocent human life shall not be completed until the personhood of all human beings, born and unborn, is recognized under the law, and the arguments justifying abortion are rejected by the American nation and its leaders.
  8. Strategies to achieve personhood and legal protection for all human beings will differ, and there will be differences of opinion on the actions we take to achieve this goal. However, such differences do not indicate a lack of unity on the foundational principles set forth herein.

Therefore, in agreement that "righteousness exalteth a nation," and in reliance upon an unshakable faith in our Creator and in His sovereign will that governs the affairs of mankind, and in pursuit of the restoration of the legal protection of every human being made in His image, we, the undersigned, pledge to one another our sacred honor, our mutual respect, and our mutual cooperation to achieve the restoration of the sanctity of human life in our nation.

In pursuit of these principles we further declare our dependence upon our Creator who sustains all life according to His sovereign will. And in the words of Abraham Lincoln, we commit ourselves to work toward this common cause "with malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right" and in so doing, we strive to "bind up the nation's wounds" as we achieve a just society where all human beings, born and unborn, are cherished and protected under law.

The Declaration of Dependence is a statement of key principles at the core of the pro-life movement, including our dependence on God and the rights he bestows on every human person. This declaration is being proclaimed again at this year’s National Prayer Service and pro-life citizens are invited to sign it using the form below.

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 321-500-1000, Toll Free 888-735-3448 • Email: