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Shawn Carney, president and CEO of 40 Days for Life.40 Days for Life / YouTube

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March 24, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The “physical vigils” of the 40 Days for Life campaign — the actual presence of pro-life individuals who pray outside abortion facilities in the days and weeks leading up to Easter — have been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Shawn Carney, president of 40 Days for Life, made the announcement via an online statement and on YouTube.  

“The regulations and the different changes and adjustments we kept having to make in different regions and countries throughout the world was just becoming unmanageable and out of protection for our volunteers, I made the decision that we are suspending the vigils,” explained Carney.

“It was very difficult to suspend the most vital part of a 40 Days for Life campaign for these remaining days, but we needed to do it,” he said. 

“Now we shift to — ultimately — relying on the foundation of 40 Days for Life, which is prayer and fasting,” added Carney.

As that shift is suddenly being engineered, Carney has initiated a daily video blog in order to remain in contact with those committed to the organization’s mission.  

“Insanity” of abortion industry during coronavirus pandemic

Carney said the response to the coronavirus pandemic by the abortion industry has been “insane” and that he has joined other national pro-life leaders in urging Health and Human Services (HSS) to close every abortion facility across the country because “by definition, they are not essential medical providers.”

The Abortion Federation recently issued a statement claiming otherwise:

As states and municipalities enact measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, more non-essential businesses will be instructed — or required — to close. At the same time, hospitals are preparing for a surge in COVID-19 cases and increased strain on their staff, resources, and systems, and will likely begin indefinitely postponing non-essential or elective procedures. During this public health crisis, pregnancy care, including abortion care, remains an essential health service. The National Abortion Federation (NAF) calls on leaders to ensure that outpatient abortion clinics can remain open and urges hospitals to continue to provide abortion care.

“Abortion businesses in Ohio even defied a state order to cancel non-essential surgeries,” noted Carney in a statement

“That means doctors, nurses, supplies, equipment and facilities that could be used to save lives from Coronavirus are instead being used to end lives, $400 at a time,” he said. 

“Meanwhile, women hospitalized during a botched abortion will compete with COVID-19 victims for a limited supply of hospital beds,” warned Carney.

Rhonda Jones, a pro-life activist in Florida, was praying outside a local abortion facility on Tuesday when she heard the news that 40 Days of Life was suspending “physical” vigils.

Jones spoke to LifeSiteNews about how sad it is that 40 Days for Life has been cut short, “weeks before 40 days are over,” but suggested hopefully that this new challenge could be turned into an opportunity where many more individuals could participate through prayer.