40 Days for Life Leader: Pro-Lifers Must Look Beyond Elections and Focus on Making a Local Impact
“With the defeat of pro-life ballot initiatives in Colorado and South Dakota, the election of an ardent abortion advocate for president, and an increase in the number of abortion proponents in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, some pro-lifers may feel a sense of despair today,” David Bereit, national campaign director of 40 Days for Life, said yesterday.
“However,” he continued, “we have every reason to be optimistic about the profound pro-life shift that is beginning to take place below the radar.”
From September 24 through November 2, intensive 40 Days for Life campaigns were conducted in more than 175 communities in 47 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa and two Canadian provinces.
For 40 days, people of faith and conscience prayed, fasted, held peaceful vigils outside abortion facilities, and conducted grassroots pro-life outreach. Tens of thousands of people participated in this history-making initiative.
“The facts speak for themselves,” said Bereit. “More than 540 times during this fall’s campaign, women who were arriving for abortions changed their minds and decided to keep their babies as a direct result of the 40 Days for Life volunteers praying outside the abortion center. We are also aware of a number of clinic employees who experienced a change of heart and quit the abortion business due to this effective pro-life outreach, and many abortion centers cut back hours or closed for entire days during 40 Days for Life.”
Bereit said the life-saving impact of this effort cannot be attributed to any elected leader or law.
“It was the result of people putting their faith into action right where they live,” he said. “We have now heard from people all across North America that the conclusion of 40 Days for Life was not an end, but merely a new beginning for ongoing local pro-life efforts that will continue to save lives regardless of who holds elective office. We look forward with great anticipation to the next national 40 Days for Life campaign.”
That campaign is scheduled to begin February 25 2009.
“This fall, a political battle was lost,” concluded Bereit, “but hundreds of lives were won. I am convinced that those victories will have far greater impact.”
The National 40 DAYS FOR LIFE leaders have revealed that more than 170 cities will take part in this novel pro-life effort from September 24 through November 2 this year.
“We may be on the verge of a turning point in the battle against abortion,” said David Bereit, national campaign director of 40 Days for Life. “Response to our call for communities to participate in this fall’s 40 Days for Life campaign has exceeded our wildest expectations.”
The community-based 40 Days for Life campaign features 40 days of prayer and fasting, round-the-clock peaceful vigil outside an abortion facility and grassroots educational outreach. Simultaneous campaigns will be conducted coast-to-coast – and internationally – as part of a unified outreach in some 170 communities. In a number of those communities, peaceful vigils will be conducted at multiple abortion locations.
“We’re especially pleased to see three Canadian cities joining 40 Days for Life this fall,” said Bereit, noting that campaigns will be conducted in Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax. “As there will also be a campaign in Washington, D.C., this means that 40 Days for Life will have a presence in the capitals of two nations. We firmly believe that this campaign of prayer and fasting will have a profound impact.”
In all, 40 Days for Life events are taking place in 45 states, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces. The list of participating cities is online at http://www.40daysforlife.com/location.cfm. ;
“The spread of 40 Days for Life is amazing,” said Bereit. “The growth of this outreach is a reflection of the excitement that people are expressing about the many ways 40 Days for Life impacts a community. This program is being embraced by cities conducting their first 40 Days for Life and those who are planning their second, third, or – in the case of Bryan/College Station, Texas – fourth campaign.”
Bereit noted that more than 75 of the 40 Days for Life prayer vigils will be held outside of Planned Parenthood facilities. “Planned Parenthood is a special concern because it is the nation’s largest abortion provider,” said Bereit. Planned Parenthood’s latest annual report shows some 290,000 abortions performed in a single year – almost one fourth of the total number for the entire United States.
“This fall marks a critical time for our country and our culture, and this heartfelt effort to pray and fast for an end to abortion is crucial with regards to our future and what sort of nation we wish to become,” said Bereit. “We hope to share the truth about what abortion does to every community where it is practiced, and to make this fall the beginning of the end of abortion in America.”
[August 25, 2008, www.LifeSiteNews.com]
40 Days For Life – July 2008
“Cities across America are applying to participate in the fall 2008 nationally coordinated 40 Days for Life campaign – a focused initiative that promises to be the largest and longest coordinated pro-life mobilization in history,” said David Bereit, national campaign director of 40 Days for Life.
“Abortion claims more than 1.2 million innocent lives in the United States each year,” he added, “and in 2008, the stakes for our nation are higher than ever. People of faith and conscience are approaching this challenge with a heightened sense of urgency.”
40 Days for Life is a community-based campaign that features 40 days of prayer and fasting, round-the-clock peaceful vigil outside an abortion business, and grassroots educational outreach.
Simultaneous campaigns will be conducted coast-to-coast – and internationally – as part of a unified outreach from September 24 through November 2. (2008)
Local pro-life leaders are now applying to host 40 Days for Life campaigns in their cities this fall.
The organizers of the 40 Days for Life campaign have energized pro-life advocates across the country and seen abortion centers close in the process. Yet, the Fall 2008 campaign, leading up to the important presidential elections, could be the group’s largest yet.
“The rapid expansion of this effort has exceeded our wildest expectations,” said Bereit. “As shown on the map on the 40 Days for Life web site, more than 300 cities across America, and in four other countries, have already stepped forward and expressed interest in the fall campaign. People are eager to get started.”
This fall’s effort will mark the third nationally coordinated 40 Days for Life campaign.
In previous efforts in 139 cities across 43 states, 150,000 people have responded to the call for prayer and fasting.
Over 35,000 have prayed outside abortion facilities and Planned Parenthood centers.
More than 500 unborn children have been confirmed saved from abortion.
Abortion workers have quit their jobs and left the industry and two abortion facilities that were the sites of 40 Days for Life prayer vigils – in Dallas, Texas, and Rockland County, New York – have gone out of business.
Said Bereit, “This clearly demonstrates the importance of maintaining a regular, prayerful presence outside abortion facilities where the lives of the unborn are at risk. The call to participate in 40 Days for Life is a call to sacrifice. It’s a call that people of faith are taking very seriously. We can’t wait to see what is in store for America this fall!”
Related web sites:
40 Days for Life – http://www.40daysforlife.com
Promotion — Television Program Friday, July 25, 2008
[15July08, D.C., www.40daysforlife.com]