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40 Days for LifeAshley Bateman/LifeSiteNews

JACKSON, Mississippi (LifeSiteNews) — Ash Wednesday marked the opening of 40 Days for Life’s largest spring campaign. Affiliated campaigns in 588 cities in 41 countries on all six populated continents is a historical high for the powerful pro-life action organization. 

In Jackson, Mississippi, participants gathered in front of the abortion facility that originated the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health case at the Supreme Court. In the state of Texas, where a Heartbeat Act threatens the survival of the abortion industry, 16 locations were activated. In addition, an all-time record number of campaigns began in the United Kingdom, Spain, Taiwan, South Korea and India. The United States is also hosting the most Lenten campaigns in the organization’s history this year. 

“Unlike most culture battles in our country right now, Christians in the pro-life movement are winning,” said Shawn Carney, president of 40 Days for Life. “We are winning hearts and minds like no other issue while at the same time we have the most pro-abortion government in the history of the United States. The motivation to do something to save more lives and close more abortion facilities has never been higher.” 

As the U.S. Supreme Court considers arguments for the overturning of landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade, pro-life enthusiasm is at an all-time high, said Steven Karlan, the 40 Days for Life campaign director. 

“Even Christians outside the United States are excited because they know that just as the U.S. exported abortion around the world, we will export the end of abortion around the world,” he said. 

“We’re also seeing a powerful grassroots response to the most extreme pro-abortion administration in U.S. history,” Karlan said. “In spite of the chaos in Washington, DC, 40 Days for Life participants are saving lives and ending abortion at the local level, which shows that God is more powerful than any government.” 

New Sidewalk Outreach training program launched  

The organization launched a new Sidewalk Outreach training program this year, better preparing vigil participants to engage with abortion-minded women and abortion providers and save lives. The program refers to advocates as “paramedics” directing women in crisis situations to their local pregnancy resource centers for counseling, encouragement and support. 

Julie Klose, a board member at the East End Pregnancy Center in Richmond, Virginia, also campaigns for 40 Days for Life. She recommends that participants personally connect with their local pregnancy resource center to better relay available options. 

“If we want to move women toward the doors of pregnancy centers, we need to familiarize ourselves with the work and ministry,” Klose said. “To effectively engage others, having that experience of knowing those who work in a center by name and what they do to help women in crisis is the most effective way of campaigning in an authentic way. I know it has helped me in my conversations with women because I know what happens behind the doors of a PRC and can effectively convey the work, mission, and even some testimonies of women who have chosen life.” 

Spring campaign leader Barbara Constable provides women with information from the East End Pregnancy Center and three other PRCs in the Richmond area. One of her campaign goals is to increase the numbers of advocates on the ground, as well as guide women to the resource centers. 

“I was praying with a woman once, and she said to me, ‘I had an abortion in L.A. when I was a teenager. When I showed up at the abortion clinic, I looked to see if there would be anyone there to talk me out of it. No one was there.’” 

‘What we want is for abortion to be unthinkable’  

“Tensions are really heightened and people are on edge because of the Supreme Court [case],” Constable said. “Passers-by get upset with us when they perceive all we want is for abortion to be illegal.”  

But advocates’ goals go far beyond the legal landscape. 

“In fact, what we want is for abortion to be unthinkable,” Constable said. 

“We hope to see more workers convert and leave their jobs, more abortion facilities closed forever, and more abortion-free communities,” Karlan said.  

To advocate with your local 40 Days for Life campaign, visit 40 Days for Life.