The next 40 Days for Life pro-life prayer campaign starts next week and it is the biggest ever, according to Shawn Carney, the national director of the event that has become an inspiring grassroots pro-life phenomenon.
When the last campaign ended in the Spring, pro-life advocates had gathered at 247 locations across the country and around the world and organizers said, at the time, they had confirmations of 483 unborn children whose lives were spared because of the campaign at abortion centers. That made the number of babies who had not become victims of abortion reach a high of 4,082 — and it has gone up since.
“This fall’s 40 Days for Life will be a record-setter and you are invited to help make history,” he said. “This fall’s campaign, from September 28 – November 6,
will be the largest and longest internationally coordinated pro-life mobilization in history and you can help save lives by getting involved today.”
Some 48 states will see local efforts along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Seven Canadian provinces will participate as will pro-life advocates in Australia, England, Spain and, for the first time ever, Germany and Argentina. Some 46 cities will see campaigns for the first time.
Reviewing the numbers, Carney says 400,000 people have participated in 40 Days for Life campaigns since its inception, 13,000 church congregations have participated, 4,313 lives reported as spared from abortion.
“Women have been spared from the effects of abortion, including a lifetime of regrets, 53 abortion workers have quit their jobs and walked away from the abortion industry, 14 abortion facilities completely shut down following local 40 Days for Life campaigns, women and men with past abortion experiences have begun post-abortion healing and recovery, 1,500 news stories have been featured in radio shows, newspapers, magazines and TV programs, and after 38 years of legalized abortion, people of faith are experiencing a renewed sense of hope,” Carney said.
In Alaska, Joel Davidson of the Catholic Anchor says the event will take place in Anchorage, where for the fourth straight year participants will peacefully pray and hold signs in front of the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic on Lake Otis Parkway. In past years, about 200 Alaskans have participated in the Anchorage vigil, including a strong showing of area Catholics.
“We have had a lot of involvement from Catholic people,” Anchorage campaign director Haylee Shields told the Catholic Anchor. “We try to reach out to all denominations, but the Catholic people are very consistent in accepting our invitation to be involved.”
In Anchorage, director Haylee said at least one baby has been saved as “a direct result of the local campaign” but the impact has also raised community awareness of the reality of abortion in Alaska.
“The campaign is made up of volunteers,” Haylee explained. “The first thing we ask from volunteers is that they would pray. We also have people who will volunteer for standing at the vigil, which is the most visible aspect of the campaign.”
In Louisiana, Benjamin Clapper, the director of Louisiana Right to Life, says, “For the first time, we will be helping to hold 40 Days for Life campaigns in New Orleans, Shreveport, and Baton Rouge.”
“This will be the first time all three cities with abortion facilities will have simultaneous pro-life prayer and witness campaigns. Should be a powerful and life-saving 40 days,” he says.
On August 23, 2011, Planned Parenthood in Sherman, Texas closed its doors and former manager Ramona Trevino resigned her post at Planned Parenthood and is now speaking out about her pro-life conversion thanks in part to the 40 Days for Life effort.