Pro-Life Wisconsin staff and volunteers enthusiastically embrace the semi-annual 40 Days for Life campaigns where they get to witness a change of heart and mind in many women, particularly in Milwaukee.
In the most recent 40 Days campaign they saw a new high in the number of babies saved, including the highest number to date for a single day.
“We had a record-number of lives saved in one day,” Dan Miller, state director of Pro-Life Wisconsin told Pregnancy Help News. “There were around six babies saved from abortion (that December day). I think it was the first time to witness that many moms who rejected abortion during one campaign day in Milwaukee.”
Pro-Life Wisconsin has hosted a 40 Days for Life program there for more than a decade, he added.
Miller and a group of about 300 volunteers across the state plan to participate in the upcoming spring campaign as well.
“We’ll do an evening prayer service with several priests and likely the bishop,” Miller said.
Turning 40 days into 365 and more lives saved
Last year, Miller and his team committed to praying at abortion centers more than just the 40 days. They made a covenant to pray daily all year long, amid the launch of 40 Days for Life 365. After starting the new 40 Days initiative Pro-Life Wisconsin saw 205 unborn lives saved through its local campaign in the six months from June to December 2021.
“We often joked that they got the name wrong, Miller said. “40 days is a nice start, but it should be 365 days for life.”
“It was strange the difference in the number of babies saved,” he said of the fall campaign total. “I can't say for certain, but September (his co-organizer) will tell you that it was because of the prayer. But we're always praying. I can't really put my finger on it, but I think it has something to do with commitment, the covenant – God wants a covenant with us.”
Tweet This: After making a covenant to pray daily all year w/40 Days for Life 365, Pro-Life Wisconsin saw 205 unborn lives saved in 6 months.
Miller spends time at abortion centers praying and conducting sidewalk counseling, just like the Pro-Life Wisconsin volunteers, an act he has done for more than a decade.
“There's no greater joy than to witness (to people going into abortion facilities),” he said. “I don't just sit behind the desk all week. You have to be involved. I've always been the type of person to lead by example, so if I'm expecting others to go out and do this very difficult work, I should, too.”
A desire to eliminate abortion
Miller sets his sights on seeing one abortion facility in Milwaukee close, a prayer he began several years ago.
“I'm a very impatient person, and after 10 to 12 years of praying at this abortion center, I want it shut down,” he said. “I’m like ‘Lord, we've been here 10 to 12 years – let's go.’ Some of my other people, friends in the movement, have been saying the same thing for abortion in general since 1973. I could take a lesson in patience from them.”
The number of abortion facilities in Wisconsin dropped significantly in recent years, from 25 to four, Miller said.
State laws enacted require women to meet with a counselor and physician before having an abortion and wait 24 hours afterward before undergoing the abortion. Additionally, they must have an ultrasound, and minors need a family member over age 25 to consent to the procedure. The state bans abortions after 21 weeks, except in specific cases.
Witnessing to life in D.C.
Miller and his team participated the 2022 national March for Life. Three buses left Wisconsin in January filled with young people and adult chaperones who attended the event in Washington, D.C. He was impressed with the turnout and the March for Life Rally speaker lineup.
“There were so many great speakers at the March!” Miller said.
While in the nation’s capital, several Wisconsin attendees prayed at one of the abortion facilities and witnessed other pro-life people and organizations doing the same. Miller said they were also present for a Red Rose Rescue.
“Saturday morning, we went sidewalk counseling at Planned Parenthood, and at the time there was a rescue taking place there, the Red Rose Rescue,” he said. “They go inside the abortion center sometimes to talk to the moms and dads; sometimes they can get in and sometimes they can't.”
“This particular situation they could not,” Miller said, “and they wound up staying in front of the door and then Planned Parenthood called the police, and they locked the door behind them. So, it was like a mission accomplished – nobody could get in and nobody could get out.”
Miller and his group talked with six women who showed up at the abortion center that morning.
“One rejected abortion completely,” he said. “She's what we would call a save, so that was good news.”
Another got caught up in the shuffle when the police got there. She’d been trying to go in for an abortion but couldn't get in because of the police. She became frustrated and went home.
“I mean we don't know what ultimately happened with her baby, but if she had an appointment there that day, that baby lived that one day,” Miller said. “We would call that a turn around.”
Sharing stories, raising awareness and funds
As Miller and all involved with Pro-Life Wisconsin prepare for more saves and turn-arounds in 2022, they also plan a fundraising banquet this spring. Guest speaker will be Tallulah Caulfield, a leader for Pro-Life Green Bay who experienced abortion as a teen.
“She will share her story about how abortion affected her,” Miller said. “We’re excited about that event.”
The banquet is scheduled for April 28.
“Things are happening here (in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin), and we want to keep it that way,” Miller said. “I think we can all say in one unified voice ‘Let's end it (abortion), and let's end it soon.’”