Commentary by Dave Bereit, National Coordinator, 40 Days for Life

October 7, 2009 ( – Most 40 Days for Life prayer vigils are conducted outside abortion facilities that are either in stand-alone buildings or in medical office parks.

There are, of course, some exceptions.

One of those exceptions is in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where abortions are performed in a hospital. So it's hard to know who among the many hundreds of women entering the hospital are there for an abortion, and good news about lives changed through prayer is hard to come by.

Still, local coordinator Julie Culshaw has always been convinced that prayer works. Vigil participants were asked to pray for specific people in the hospital, including a woman who worked part-time as a counselor in the abortion unit. Julie just learned that this woman has given up that position and has asked for a transfer to another ward.

“She said she 'felt such darkness' when she had to work in the Pregnancy Termination Unit, as it is called,” Julie said. “Praise God; this is an answer to prayer!”

At another 40 Days for Life vigil location—this one will have to remain anonymous, for reasons you will see—a local business had been helping the campaign. The business owners serve as agents for a prominent national company.

“Abortion advocates have continually harassed the local agents and pressured the national corporation to mandate that they disassociate from our 40 Days for Life campaign,” said the local 40 Days for Life coordinator. “I cannot in good conscience ask them to place their livelihood as risk.”

It's really too bad. 40 Days for Life had been good for this company's business. Still, the local campaign coordinator is optimistic. “My heart rejoices that we were honored with this level of persecution and the opportunity to persevere and witness to God's truth and pray for His glory to be revealed in the strength and sustenance He provides for us to continue onward.”

Sometimes, the truth is revealed in other ways.

It isn't often that anyone from Planned Parenthood agrees to publicly debate abortion; but in Lubbock, Texas, a Planned Parenthood representative agreed to take part in a discussion organized by a group of pro-life medical students at Texas Tech.

But once a notice of the event was published in the newspaper, the Planned Parenthood spokesperson backed out, reportedly saying he would be unable to participate in anything related to 40 Days for Life.

“The question is,” asked Dan in Lubbock, “if abortion is such a good thing, in their view, why isn't it robustly defensible 24/7?”

The answer is simple: They cannot argue the facts. There is no defense for abortion …

… And that's something even children understand.

It was a dark, rainy day in Richmond, Virginia. Becca was headed to the abortion facility to pray at the 40 Days for Life vigil with her 3-year-old daughter, Anna. “As we drove to the clinic,” she said, “I explained to her why we were going, what we would be doing there, and who we would be praying for.”

While they were standing in the rain, Becca took Anna's picture. It's the only time Becca can ever recall that Anna didn't smile for a picture.

Anna is only 3 years old, but she understands. Please continue to pray that all may see, with a child's eyes, the darkness that must be overcome.


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