Pro-Life group begins prayer campaign against abortion
March 01, 2017
Pro-life organization 40 Days for Life is launching an international campaign to hold prayer vigils in front of abortion clinics
(WASHINGTON, DC) Leaders of the 40 Days for Life international prayer vigil are hoping that the violent opposition to President Trump will not affect the hundreds of thousands of 40 Days prayer volunteers.
Shawn Carney, the president of 40 Days for Life, told LifeSiteNews, “The hatred of Donald Trump is being directed at the pro-life movement. The climate is much more hostile to our movement” since his election.
With 40 Days set to begin on Ash Wednesday, leaders and volunteers are hopeful that what has been just “a lot of talk” will not turn into violence during the vigil.
Carney said the vigil that began in 2007 at a single abortion facility in Texas has grown to involve more than 200,000 volunteers this spring. They will stand and pray outside abortion clinics and hospitals in 340 cities and 30 countries, including new campaigns in the Dominican Republic, Rome, Italy, Paraguay, and Zimbabwe. Most participating cities are in the U.S. Nine are in Canada.
New vigils provoke the most opposition, Carney said.
“The longer we do this at a particular location, the more the staff of the abortion clinic can see how calm and peaceful we are,” he said.
Nonetheless, 40 Days organizers in the United States are watchful because Trump opponents may blame pro-lifers for his election.
“The pro-life movement is picking up a lot of momentum,” Carney said. “We are attracting a lot more leaders, a lot more volunteers.”
Carney explained 40 Days’ special role as “invitational.”
“It’s invitational to the moms and dads [using the abortion clinics],” he said. “It’s invitational to them and to the workers in the clinics to stop participating as the great gift of life is destroyed.”
Carney said 40 Days was also a response “to Our Lord’s request that we be the hands and feet of Christ. We trust Him that our world will be transformed in that time frame as it was for Our Lord.”
Transformations are happening. So far, 83 abortion facilities have closed their doors after 40 Days vigils were held. There are 12,668 unborn babies alive today because mothers changed their minds after seeing vigil volunteers praying outside an abortuary.
“The worse the weather,” Carney said, “the more moms choose life. The greater the respect the people in the abortion industry have for us. We call this the spring vigil,” he joked. “But in many places in Canada, in Minnesota and Wisconsin, it’s really winter.”
The 40 Days vigils take place in spring and fall and ideally run around the clock “24-7” for a 40-day period.
Washington D.C. chapter leader Katie Yoder organized a prayer vigil outside Planned Parenthood’s Carol Whitehill Moses Center on Tuesday.
Katie Yoder told the Washington Times having a pro-life presence at abortion clinics “saves lives.”
“It might be something as subtle as a car driving up to the clinic, and then slowing down and going past, and nobody ever walking into the clinic,” Ms. Yoder said Tuesday. “Or it might be a couple walking in and out, and you don’t really know if they decided to go through with an abortion or not. But your presence does make a difference. And if our presence saves lives, then shouldn’t we be out here as frequently as we can to make a difference?” she said.
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