I just got back from visiting the Roanoke, Virginia campaign, where 40 Days for Life is having a huge impact in the exact spot where lives are changed — the public right of way outside the abortion center.
The changes that can be experienced there are profound — and sometimes unexpected. Here are three examples.
A dad wrote to say he and his teenage son were praying outside the Planned Parenthood abortion center as part of the 40 Days for Life vigil.
“We parked the car, crossed the street and walked up to the black iron fence that surrounded the facility,” he said. “Almost instantly, tears began to flow from my eyes and would not stop; my heart felt like it was being wrenched in my chest.”
His son only had one comment the entire time they were there: “It feels so sad.” He later told his father that he did not want to speak, “out of fear that he would be reduced to a sobbing mess on the concrete sidewalk.”
On the drive back home, the teen pulled out his phone and started calling friends. His dad heard him tell one friend after another such things as, “I don’t care what they’re telling you in school. That’s a life inside a woman, not just a blob of flesh or a tumor! Don’t ever get an abortion! Don’t encourage someone to do it! Don’t!”
“I was taken aback,” the dad said. “I had never seen him exhibit such a conviction. The vigil changed him. I think it changed both of us in ways we could not have imagined.”
Debbie left a note on the 40 Days for Life blog about her conversation with a man outside the abortion center in Haverhill, where she was taking part in the peaceful vigil.
She spoke to the man, and he told her his daughter was inside. Debbie asked him, “Is there any way you can change her mind? That’s your grandchild!”
As he walked back toward the building, Debbie told him the group would be praying. “He turned and gave me thumbs-up.”
About 10 minutes later, the man and his teenage daughter walked out. “I asked is she going to keep the baby — and he said we’re still talking about it,” Debbie said. She then gave them information about the local pregnancy care center — and the teen smiled.
“I’m still praying for them,” she said, noting there are so many influences in the world that will tell them there’s nothing wrong with abortion.
Carolyn and several others were standing in prayer outside the abortion center in Fairfax when a woman got out of her car and walked over to the volunteers.
This young woman explained that a year ago, she was pregnant — and had scheduled an appointment there for an abortion. When she drove past the building beforehand, she saw people praying — and she changed her mind.
She then showed the volunteers a picture of her 4-month-old child.
She had wanted to stop by and tell her story, Carolyn said, “and to thank us for what we were doing. It was an amazing ‘God moment,’ and a very encouraging one that I wanted to pass along.”
LifeNews.com Note: Shawn Carney is the campaign director for the 40 Days for Life pro-life prayer campaign against abortion.