March 8, 2011 ( – The largest worldwide 40 Days for Life begins tomorrow with pro-life advocates around the globe gearing up in 247 cities across the United States and eight other countries.  According to the 40 Days for Life national team, recent abortion facility closures in both California and Missouri add to the anticipation of another successful campaign.

The coordinated international campaign begins March 9 and runs through April 17, coinciding with the Christian season of Lent.  The campaign will stretch from coast to coast in the United States, and extends into Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, Belize, Spain, Georgia and Armenia – representing a 47% increase in the number of locations over last spring.

“Recent abortion center closings have added momentum to the kickoff of the largest 40 Days for Life campaign in history,” said Shawn Carney, campaign director of 40 Days for Life today.

Last week, Golden Gate Community Health in the San Francisco Bay area announced it was closing down, temporarily and perhaps for good.  It is a chain of abortion facilities that includes two locations where 40 Days for Life has been held in previous years.

At another previous 40 Days for Life site in Columbia, Missouri, a Planned Parenthood facility was forced to reduce abortions to every other week last fall due to staffing issues.  Currently, sources maintain that no abortions have taken place there since January 26.

“Abortions are only available right now at one place in the entire state of Missouri – Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, where another 40 Days for Life vigil begins tomorrow,” Carney said.  “We know of nine abortion facilities where 40 Days for Life prayer vigils have been conducted that are now closed, and following other peaceful vigils, more abortion centers may soon be added to that list.”

40 Days for Life consists of 40 days of prayer and fasting for an end to abortion, 40 days of constant, peaceful vigil outside abortion centers and Planned Parenthood offices and 40 days of pro-life community outreach. The list of participating communities is posted online here

The 40 Days for Life movement continues to grow. Thus far, seven coordinated national 40 Days for Life campaigns have been conducted, twice each year, beginning in the fall of 2007. More than 400,000 people in some 337 cities have already taken part. Nine abortion centers have closed following 40 Days for Life prayer vigils, and at least 43 abortion industry employees have quit their jobs, including Abby Johnson, former director of a Planned Parenthood facility.

“The best news,” Carney said, “is that there are 3,599 children – and their mothers – who were spared from abortion. And of course, those are just the ones we know about. There may be countless others.”

“When people respond to abortion as a local problem,” said Carney, “they see the local results of a peaceful vigil: lives saved, hearts changed – and abortion centers closed.”

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