President Bush has declared this Sunday to be "National Sanctity of Human Life Day."

His designation comes before the annual protest in Washington Monday of the Supreme Court's 1973 decision legalizing abortion.

Mr. Bush, who opposes abortion, said his proclamation is a reminder that all human life must be valued - "not just those considered healthy, wanted or convenient."

The proclamation also alludes to stem cell research. Mr. Bush said the right policies can allow science to help alleviate human suffering without sanctioning the violation of the dignity of human life.

Mr. Bush strongly disagreed with congressional efforts last year to expand stem cell research. For the only time, he used his presidential veto power to stop such research going forward.

The proclamation on the sanctity of human life makes no mention of the death penalty. While serving as Texas governor, Mr. Bush oversaw the execution of 150 prisoners.