On Sept. 26, the pro-life group 40 Days for Life launched its fall campaign of peaceful prayer, fasting, advocacy and outreach to reach women considering abortion.
David Bereit, the group’s national director, told a Sept. 25 rally in Manassas, Va. the latest campaign is “the largest 40 Days for Life campaign in history.”
“Together, you and I have an opportunity to change hearts and minds. We have an opportunity to save lives. And, God willing, we have an opportunity to impact eternal souls,” he said.
The campaign lasts from Sept. 26 to Nov. 4 with 316 locations around the world. There are campaign locations in 49 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and seven Canadian provinces. Participants have organized events in Australia, England, Spain and Uganda.
Since the national campaign began in 2007, there have been over 525,000 participants and 1,894 individual campaigns in 440 cities, usually outside abortion clinics. Campaign participants report at least 5,928 unborn babies have been spared from abortion over the years, while 69 abortion workers have quit their jobs.
Twenty-four abortion facilities have completely shut down after local 40 Days for Life campaigns.
Bereit emphasized the importance of the effort.
“At this crucial time, we have an opportunity to change history, because we are right now in the midst of the 40th year of legalized abortion in America,” he told the rally.
The Jan. 22 anniversary of the pro-abortion rights Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, he said, will mark “40 years and 50 million dead children lost to abortion.”
“As we pray and we fast, we are gearing up for one of the most important elections in our entire lifetime, he added. “What more important time to be praying and fasting?”
Shawn Carney, the fall campaign’s director, also stressed the importance of prayer in a Sept. 25 post on the group’s website.
He recounted the story of Abby Johnson, the former director of a Planned Parenthood abortion center in College Station, Texas who felt loved by vigil participants when she decided to quit.
“They had always told me, ‘If you ever want to leave, we’ll be here for you.’” she told the National Catholic Register. “I decided to put them to the test. I broke down and told them, ‘I know what I’ve been doing is wrong, and I want out.’ They just looked at me and said, ‘We’re here to help you.’”
The 40 Days for Life website is www.40daysforlife.com.