BRYAN, Texas, September 18, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — One of the world’s most successful ongoing pro-life campaigns to shut down abortion clinics is starting up in nine days.
40 Days for Life begins its next global campaign of prayer, fasting, and around-the-clock vigil at abortion clinics September 27th, and finishes on November 5th. During this time, thousands of pro-lifers will visit abortion clinics for a time of concentrated, peaceful prayer.
Campaign organizers say this year’s event is expected to be the largest gathering of pro-life intercessors since the vigil began in 2004.
“We are very excited about the largest 40 Days for Life campaign ever,” 40 Days for Life President Shawn Carney told LifeSiteNews. Carney said the campaign will be in 375 cities around the world.
“We have now seen 89 abortion facilities close their doors,” he said.
To kick off the event, Carney said that 40 Days for Life will be releasing what he called a “new tool for all pro-life advocates to get more people praying in front of abortion facilities to save more lives.”
Prolifers can check the 40 Days for Life website for the location of a vigil in their area. The website may also be used by those wanting to apply to lead a 40 Days for Life vigil in their community.
A special “kick off” is planned for Sunday, September 24, in Philadelphia. Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life and many other pro-life leaders will take part at the event beginning at 3:30 PM in Sister Cities Park, 18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Details can be found here.
The festivities include a Walk for Life, a youth rally, and, for Catholic participants, a Mass celebrated at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul by Archbishop Charles Chaput.
“There is more momentum in the pro-life movement than ever before –and it is ours to keep or lose,” a 40 Days for Life press release stated. “Come out for this exciting day which will include speakers, music, and vendors … and will offer ways you can help end abortion where you live.”
Since its inception in 2004, 40 Days for Life has become an international phenomenon. Its web page counts 750,000 people who have united to join local vigils in 715 cities throughout 44 nations. Organizers say the vigils have resulted in 13,305 lives saved from abortion, 154 clinic employees who have stopped working in the abortion industry, and 89 abortuaries which have shut down.
“The power of the fervent prayer at 40 Days for Life vigils around the world since its inception is undeniable,” the organization states on its web page.
The organization’s name comes from the Bible where God used the period of 40 days as a time of judgment or testing, such as when God remade the earth during the great flood that was caused by 40 days of rain or when Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days and overcame temptation.
Former Planned Parenthood worker turned pro-life activist Abby Johnson said she would not be in the pro-life movement saving lives had it not been for ordinary pro-life people attending campaigns like 40 Days for Life.
“I am in this movement today because of ordinary people who took on an extraordinary task. My former abortion clinic is closed because of their sacrifice. Babies are alive because of them. Women are no longer being hurt by abortion in their community,” she said.
Live Action’s Lila Rose has praised the campaign for what she called “important” work.
“40 Days for Life is leading the fight, spiritually, and practically, in the trenches every day,” she said.
Heartbeat International’s Dr. Peggy Hartshorn encouraged people to attend the campaign.
“Fasting and praying with 40 Days for Life unifies pro-life energies and illuminates us with grace in our efforts to conquer the culture of death,” she said.
“I strongly encourage every person and organization that believes in the dignity of life to join the 40 Days for Life campaign to end abortion, restore families, and renew communities for life,” she added.
Students for Life of America’s Kristan Hawkins called 40 Days for Life “one of the most effective ways for our movement to abolish abortion.”