The first day of the latest 40 Days for Life campaign saw record numbers of pro-life people turn out at locations across the United States to pray at abortion centers and offer women abortion alternatives.
“Just two days into the largest 40 Days for Life campaign ever and we’ve seen record crowds at kickoff events across the United States — and beyond,” says Shawn Carney, the national coordinator. “As this 40 Days for Life campaign is just getting started, there’s still plenty of time for you to join in — and to spread the word to everyone you know.”
“I just got back from a great 40 Days for Life kickoff rally in Virginia Beach, Virginia,” he explained. “They held their event in front of the Planned Parenthood
facility, which is getting ready to expand its abortion capabilities. While I was there, the local ABC affiliate came out to interview Marcia, the local coordinator.
David Bereit, the national director of 40 Days for Life, helped get the first-ever 40 Days for Life campaign in Silver Spring, Maryland off to a great start. It was an exciting night in this Washington, DC suburb.
The 40 Days for Life team in Lafayette, Indiana also had a great turnout for their opening.
“This campaign also marks the first 40 Days for Life effort in Lafayette. As is the case in Virginia Beach and Silver Spring, their vigil is also being held outside a Planned Parenthood facility,” Carney said. “Members of the clergy from various local churches took part in the kickoff event, which featured a prayer gathering followed by a procession to the vigil site.”
Scott Michaud is part of 40 Days For Life in Augusta and said pro-life advocates are outside the Family Planning Association of Maine abortion center and they have hundreds of volunteers from all over the state participating.
“So we come out here to pray and let women know that there is a different option. There are other choices,” he says.
Brigid Wentworth is participating and she said, “If we stand up for real basic fundamental things like life, that other things will just naturally follow.”
But Sue McPhee, Vice President of External Relations & Development for the abortionj center, told WABI-TV she doesn’t like the pro-life people outside.
“I think they’re there to mostly shame women,” she claimed and added that her business did 430 abortions last year.
Carney also says the 40 Days for Life is a great event for women and men who were involved in an abortion decision they regret to find hope and healing.
“For those wounded by their participation in abortion, the door to healing often feels like crossing an abyss of great fear: fear of judgment, fear of being torn apart by the pain, by self hatred and rage at those who hurt and abandoned you, and manipulated you in your time of temptation,” he said. “For men in particular, entering the unknown waters of emotional vulnerability, so necessary to healing calls for a different kind of courage that feels deceptively like weakness.”
“During these forty days let us pray for all who have participated in abortion and with love call them to healing and reconciliation,” he said.
Since 40 Days for Life began as a national — and then international — effort in 2007, more than 400,000 people have participated and confirmed reports have documented that 3,599 babies have been saved from abortion. The campaign also stretches to parts of Canada, England and Australia as pro-life advocates in other nations have hopped on board after seeing the success in the United States.
40 Days for Life, a 40-day campaign of prayer and fasting, peaceful vigil and community outreach, launched Wednesday at 247 locations in the United States, Canada, Australia, England, Ireland, Spain, Belize, Armenia and Georgia. This represents a 47% increase in the number of locations over last spring. The campaign will run through April 17.