40 Days for Life continues saving and changing lives with fall campaign

40 Days for Life continues saving and changing lives with fall campaignthe 40 Days for Life fall 2023 campaign in Absecon, New Jersey (40 Days for Life)

The pro-life outreach 40 Days for Life saw continued success and milestones reached with its fall 2023 campaign. The fall campaign was the biggest ever, with a record 681 cities participating. 

40 Days for Life reports of its latest campaign that three abortion workers became pro-life and quit their jobs, in one case the penitent abortion worker was the abortionist herself. At least seven other abortion workers, while not confirmed to have converted to be pro-life, have also left their jobs. The fall 2023 campaign saved at least 501 babies from abortion, 40 Days reports. One baby was saved because a local 40 Days for Life campaign leader had made a 90-minute round-trip drive to help a mom reverse her chemical abortion. Two abortion facilities closed during the campaign as well.

"40 Days for Life is good news," said 40 Days for Life co-founder and CEO Shawn Carney. "And and it's positive, and it's it's edifying, and it's rooted in prayer and fasting."

The international pro-life witness, prayer, and fasting outreach has grown tremendously since the first event in College Station, Texas, in 2007.

40 Days for Life is now in 64 nations, according to the group, and since 2007 it has seen 24,211 lives saved, 148 abortion centers closed, and 256 abortion workers quit.

This fall's campaign, from September 27 through November 5, had four new countries joining in for the very first time: Greece, Netherlands, Albania, and Nepal. 

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Wherever the campaign is held, the local community is made aware of abortions going on in their neighborhood, women are encouraged to go to the nearest pregnancy center for free services and support, babies are saved, and abortion workers are encouraged to find work outside the abortion industry.

In one southern state (location is unnamed to preserve anonymity), a Planned Parenthood abortion worker told 40 Days participants during the fall 2023 campaign that she'd had enough of working there. 

"She stated she was very upset with her job...and no longer wanted to work there," the 40 Days for Life co-leader said. "We shed light into the true agenda of the history of Planned Parenthood and Margaret Sanger and the unethical practices, which she agreed with." 

This abortion worker had also gotten her birth control there, so now that abortion center has lost both a worker and a client. 40 Days for Life participants informed the woman about resources for abortion workers looking to find other work and has now found legitimate work in the health care industry.

40 Days for Life Fall 2023 Kalamazoo, Mich.

The pro-life movement had a setback last year in Michigan, where voters amended the state constitution to include a right to abortion. Despite the devastating blow to abortion-vulnerable moms and babies, 40 Days for Life participants didn't stop praying and offering help. As a result, the Kalamazoo campaign had its first baby save in three years this past fall. 

In Yuba City, Calif., vigil participants spoke with a Hindu couple who came to Planned Parenthood, planning to abort their child. Unexpectedly, the abortion center was closed that day, giving the prayer group an opportunity to explain the humanity of the unborn child, what takes place during an abortion, and the resources available to assist them.

The family didn't really understand as they arrived that abortion means killing a child, but the sidewalk counselors educated them. 

"We changed our minds," the child's father said. "We're not doing that!"  

The family was so grateful for the crucial conversation that the father decided to participate in 40 Days for Life himself.

The Yuba City team took the family to the nearby pregnancy help center for life-affirming help.

40 Days for Life fall 2023 Yuba City, Calif.

Vigil participants in Iowa City, Iowa, learned that they had saved a baby from a gift left for them. Following several days of all-day prayer and talking to numerous young women in front of the abortion center there, they found a surprise there one day. 

"Tom arrived early at the vigil site and discovered roses in a decorative glass dish with a note that read, 'She chose life!'" wrote Sheryl, the local campaign leader. 

Who could have left this present? They just don't know for sure. Only God and the gift-giver know, but obviously the presence of the vigil participants made a difference in that mother and baby's lives.

In Minnesota’s Twin Cities, campaign leaders Mary and Pat handed a boxed fetal model set and pro-life literature to a couple heading for an abortion at the Planned Parenthood mega-facility. The two young adults went in anyway.

"About 40 minutes later, the same couple came out," Mary said. 

Pat recalled that "the father was just gleaming," while the young mother said she changed her mind after reading the literature she'd been given.

Then, having lost the abortion sale, a Planned Parenthood escort told the happy couple to leave the premises, so Mary and Pat spoke to them in a nearby parking lot. 

There they informed the couple about a local pregnancy center where they could get a free ultrasound, maternity clothes, and baby items, none of which the abortion center offered.

The anonymous gift left for 40 Days for Life
fall 2023 participants in Iowa City, Iowa

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"40 Days for Life is good news. And and it's positive, and it's it's edifying, and it's rooted in prayer and fasting" - CEO Shawn Carney

Ramona Trevino knows how powerful 40 Days for Life prayers can be. 

She was managing a Planned Parenthood center in Sherman, Texas, when she started listening to Catholic radio. Right around the time she was coming back to her Catholic faith, the first 40 days for Life campaign prayed outside her center. Trevino had become uncomfortable working for an abortion business, and people praying on the sidewalk were just the prompt she needed to leave.

“I thought, this will be a perfect opportunity to go out, talk with one of the protesters and ask them to pray for me,” she said. “Tell them what’s going on with me. Because at that point I was reaching out for someone – prayers, some kind of guidance, some kind of support.”

Trevino spoke with the man who led the local 40 Days for Life campaign, Gerry, who gave her a copy of Abby Johnson’s book “Unplanned.” He and the other participants offered to pray for her. 

Not long after, Trevino left her job and today she is an outreach director 40 Days for Life. 

She tells her story in gratitude for those, “that are out there fighting for life, the people that are out there that are spending their time and all of their efforts and energy for pro-life, and the people that are at the vigils.” 

“I want them to know that their prayers are heard,” she said. “That’s why I feel that my story is so important, not because it’s my story, but because it’s their story.”

40 Days for Life fall 2023 Sandusky, Ohio

In Sandusky, Ohio, campaign leaders decided to focus on CVS this fall, after it along with Rite Aid and Walgreens announced they would surpass Planned Parenthood in abortions through the sale of abortion pills. Local campaign leader Lisa said Sandusky had covered all its vigil hours so far, and they were on a very busy corner, reaching a lot of people.

Trevino came out to pray with the Sandusky group. 

"A Protestant pastor from a neighboring city attended the vigil with his congregants," she said. "He heard about the event and wanted to come 'check it out.' He was happy he did."

40 Days for Life General Counsel Matt Britton,
pro-life advocate Mark Houck, and Shawn Carney

Since the overturn of Roe v. Wade, a growing trend by abortion advocates is to try to limit where people can pray at abortion centers. The increased threat to Constitutional freedoms for pro-life advocates is the primary reason for the launch of the 40 Days for Life Institute for Law and Justice

The recently filed lawsuit against the Department of Justice on behalf of 40 Days for Life participant Mark Houck is just one of many cases the new Institute is fighting. 

The forthcoming spring 40 Days for Life campaign is scheduled for February 14 - March 24, 2024. 

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