By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

WASHINGTON, DC, February 17, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Communities in Australia and Northern Ireland will join with well over 100 cities in the United States and Canada that are hosting 40 Days for Life events from February 25 to April 5, 2009.

The 40 Days for Life Campaign was started in 2004 by a pro-life group in Texas. Over the following years it spread across the USA and Canada. This year, two cities in Northern Ireland and one in Australia are also taking part.

Northern Ireland’s leading pro-life group, Precious Life, has organized a campaign of ‘40 Days of Prayer and Fasting’ in an effort to stop the serious abortion threat to Northern Ireland.

Director of Precious Life, Bernadette Smyth said, "This Lent, from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday, communities across Ireland and Britain will be uniting with more than 127 cities in the USA, Canada and Australia for the largest simultaneous pro-life mobilisation in history - The 40 Days for Life Campaign. We will be praying and fasting for the protection of Ireland from abortion and the repeal of the 1967 Abortion Act in Britain."
 
She added, "During the 40 Day Campaign, Precious Life will also encourage more people to join Prayer Vigils outside abortion facilities. Here in Northern Ireland, we are urging people to join our daily vigils outside the Family Planning Association’s (FPA) abortion referral agencies in Belfast and Derry."

US 40 Days for Life spring campaign director Shawn Carney said the enthusiasm for the upcoming campaign is growing across the country and around the world.

"As the country marks the 36th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling that imposed abortion on the United States, as well as the inauguration of the most outspokenly pro-abortion president in American history, pro-life advocates in some 118 cities across 41 states - plus four Canadian provinces and even Australia - have great hope," said Carney. "They’re all preparing to participate in simultaneous 40 Days for Life campaigns."

The campaign dates of February 25 through April 5 coincide with the Christian season of Lent. "It’s a perfect match," said Carney. "Lent is a season of prayer, fasting, repentance and renewal. It is our prayer that the efforts of the thousands of people who will participate in 40 Days for Life in their home towns will touch hearts and minds, save lives - and show that extreme pro-abortion policies do not resonate with the values of this nation."

There have been three coordinated national 40 Days for Life campaigns thus far, beginning in the fall of 2007. "The efforts of people at the grassroots level have shown a profound impact," said Carney. "More than 200 cities have participated, reporting more than 175,000 people united in prayer and fasting. Three abortion facilities closed following 40 Days for Life campaigns, and more than a dozen abortion industry employees have left their jobs during these times of prayerful outreach. And most notably, we are aware of 1,128 innocent children who were spared from death by abortion during these campaigns."

40 Days for Life in Australia will take place in Brisbane this Lent with the vigil being kept at the Planned Parenthood of Australia abortion mill located at 8 Campbell Street, Bowen Hills, Brisbane, Queensland. Contact Brendan Wong at 07 3305 0104 or email her at 40DaysBrisbane@gmail.com for information.

For further information on the 40 Days for Life Campaign and for a list of cities hosting the campaign please go to: www.40daysforlife.com