On September 25, the pro-life organization 40 Days for Life began their biannual campaign to save babies around the world. The campaign runs through November 3 and involves thousands of volunteers who will pray outside hundreds of abortion clinics worldwide. The campaign also includes fasting and community outreach. According to the website, “The visible, public centerpiece of 40 Days for Life is a focused, 40-day, non-stop, round-the-clock prayer vigil outside a Planned Parenthood center or other abortion facility.”
On Facebook the organization wrote that this year’s campaign is unparalleled to previous years since the campaigns began in 2007. “We’re about to embark upon the largest 40 Days for Life campaign in history in 505 cities worldwide during an unprecedented time when many are advocating for infanticide.” Through prayer, the organization has saved 16,004 lives, seen 104 abortion center closed and 191 abortion workers leave the business.
The peaceful prayer vigils may have an even greater impact than reported. According to an email sent out to supporters, the organization said that, “Former abortion providers report that when you show up to pray, the no-show rate for abortion appointments can go as high as 75%.” In other words, women who would have had an abortion sometimes decide not to enter the clinic after seeing volunteers praying outside.
The email linked to a video of the testimony of a woman named Heather who chose life for her child. Heather recounts, “The pivotal moment in my decision to choose life was when I was sitting on that table and the 40 Days for Life volunteers are outside praying for me.” The video goes on to show script that says, “Heather did not tell the 40 Days for Life volunteers that she chose life for her until the same volunteers who saved her baby spoke at her church.”
The Daily Citizen spoke to Michele Mason, the 40 Days for Life leader of the prayer vigil outside a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs. She told The Daily Citizen why she is passionate about being involved in the pro-life cause. “In 2006, God opened our hearts in a big way to getting involved in pro-life work when our preborn son was diagnosed with CCAM or cysts in the lungs at 7 months gestation. The doctors did not know if he would live or die at birth, so every moment with him in the womb was a precious moment to us. Those next 2 months, God really showed us the beauty and wonder of the preborn child. After birth he had 2/3 of his right lung removed, which has now grown back. Today, he is a healthy 13 year old.” Mason disclosed that she has been involved in 22 campaigns since first becoming involved in 2008.
Since the 40 Days for Life campaigns began, they have since reached 816 cities and 56 countries. In addition, the organization has seen over 1,000,000 volunteers participate, 19,000 churches get involved and a grand total of 6,428 local campaigns take place outside of individual abortion clinics.
Though around equal numbers of Americans identify themselves as pro-life and pro-choice, when broken down it becomes clear that the vast majority of Americans want additional restriction on abortion. A recent poll found that three-quarters of Americans want abortion restricted to the first trimester, including 59% of Democrats.
Yet, it’s unfortunate that for most pro-life supporters, identifying as pro-life simply means voting Republican. Recognizing the travesty of abortion requires more than darkening an oval next to a candidate’s name every other year.
40 Days for Life believes now is an important time for pro-life supporters to become more involved. “Planned Parenthood has lost tens of millions of dollars of Title X family planning tax funding, states across the country are dramatically restricting or even outright banning abortion, private donations to Planned Parenthood are down, and 40 Days for Life leaders report abortion facilities are closing because Planned Parenthood can’t find landlords willing to rent or doctors willing to work there.”
In speaking to The Daily Citizen, Mason summarized what the campaigns are all about. “The foundation of 40 Days for Life is prayer, fasting, and outreach. 40 Days for Life is about going to God in repentance for our own sins and the sins of our country and world. It is about reaching out to women who are in crisis and need support and help. It is about reaching out to women who have had abortions to help them find healing in Christ. 40 Days for Life is about being a peaceful witness to the abortion workers and the community, bringing the love of Christ to the most desolate place on earth, the abortion clinic.”
To learn more about 40 Days for Life or to get involved at a prayer vigil happening outside an abortion clinic near you, visit their website here.