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Being Pro-Life: Ending Abortion Through Prayer & Fasting

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A man was praying outside an abortion facility when a woman walked into the clinic. Not long after, she walked back out and right up to him. She said, “Excuse me, but I just wanted to thank you. I asked God for a sign this morning on whether or not I should have this abortion today. You are that sign for me. Because you were here today, I’m keeping my baby.”

40 Days for Life
Peter Range, director of the Office for Life and Justice for the Diocese of Toledo, shared this particular story. 40 Days for Life, an international organization that aims to end abortion through peaceful vigils of prayer and fasting outside abortion centers across the world, documented more than 16,000 similar stories.

“We did our very first campaign in College Station, TX, in 2004, and then we launched it nationally in 2007, and it just took off. That was just going to be it,” said Shawn Carney, co-founder and president of 40 Days for Life. “We were going to do one nationally-coordinated campaign with people out praying and fasting in front of abortion facilities for 40 straight days. Then Lent came along and there were a lot of cities that wanted to do it, so we do a fall campaign and a Lent campaign every year… and by the grace of God, this has gone from that one city to now over 900 cities in 70 countries around the world.”

40 Days for Life just celebrated the closing of the 100th facility because of these prayer vigils (one of which was in Sharonville, OH). These campaigns are peaceful, not confrontational.

Participants simply witness to life through prayer and fasting, paving the way for the Holy Spirit to work.

Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood clinic director, now prolife advocate and author of Unplanned, began her conversion the day she witnessed an abortion procedure. That experience led her to quit her job and join forces with the people who prayed outside her clinic.

She also founded And Then There Were None, a ministry that has helped more than 500 abortion clinic workers transition out of the abortion industry. “The last Planned Parenthood conference I went to was in 2009, and I went into a session called, ‘Anti-Choice Harrassment,’” said Johnson. “Planned Parenthood looked at their numbers… the rate of people who had appointments for abortion but didn’t show up… and what they found was that when people are standing outside the facility praying, the rate of no-show appointments… goes up to as high as 75 percent.” What further encouragement do we need to act and join a local prayer vigil?

Take an Hour
To join in this life-saving ministry, visit 40daysforlife.com, search locations in your city, and you will find the contact information for local leaders as well as how to sign up for the upcoming 40 Days for Life prayer vigil, beginning Ash Wednesday, Feb. 26, and ending on Palm Sunday. You can sign up for one hour and Jenny Belkonny (Dayton) and Mary Clark (Cincinnati) will
happily join you. If you feel called to do it again, they would love for you to commit to a time each week. Even better, gather some friends or organize a group from your parish to take an hour.

Powerful Interviews
For more information and further motivation, please watch the powerful video interviews with Shawn Carney, Abby Johnson and others on our website, catholiccincinnati.org/being-pro-life.

Then, call Jenny or Mary and sign up. It’s a powerful way to put our faith into action for the beginning of Lent. Let the beauty of prayer and fasting change hearts and minds and put an end to the scourge of abortion in our communities.|


January 28: Shawn Carney, President of 40 Days for Life

February 4: Abby Johnson, former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic, author of Unplanned

February 11: Jenny Belkonny and Mary Clark, local 40 Days for Life leaders

February 18: Peter Range, Office for Life and Justice, Diocese of Toledo

February 25: A woman who changed her mind on abortion due to a prayer witness

TUNE IN AT: catholiccincinnati.org/being-pro-life

Bob Wurzelbacher is the director of the Office for Respect Life Ministries. He and his wife, Cindy, live in Sharonville with their two young daughters. [email protected]

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