The worldwide prayer campaign, 40 Days for Life, celebrated saving a cumulative total of 10,000 babies this week as the 2015 campaign draws to a close. Focusing on prayer, fasting, and community outreach, volunteers keep a 24-hour vigil outside abortion clinics for the campaign’s 40 days.
“It is a peaceful and educational presence,” the program’s website reads. “Those who are called to stand witness during this 24-hour-a-day presence send a powerful message to the community about the tragic reality of abortion.”
Among those reformed pro-choice advocates stands Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director.
“I am in this movement today because of ordinary people who took on an extraordinary task,” Johnson said of 40 Days for Life advocates. “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 . . . I now stand alongside you in this 40 Days for Life movement.”
Former abortion clinic owner Carol Everett now supports 40 Days for Life as well.
“I was pro-choice and ran multiple abortion facilities,” Everett said. “Now I am a pro-lifer committed to ending abortion. If God can change my heart and use me, then he can use you too.”
The specifics of a 40 day mission draw parallels to biblical reform.
“From Noah in the flood to Moses on the mountain to the disciples after Christ’s resurrection, it is clear that God sees the transformative value of His people accepting and meeting a 40-day challenge,” the program’s website reads.
40 Days for Life campaigns have taken place in 27 countries worldwide. With 5 days left of this year’s campaign, supporters are encouraged to continue praying for miraculous outcomes.
In Arizona, a vigil participant directed a couple to a nearby pregnancy help clinic offering free ultrasounds — an experience that convinced the couple to keep their baby. In Houston, a pregnant woman was directed to a local help center, and instead of receiving an abortion, decided to keep her baby.
“When she saw her baby on the ultrasound, she called this man [who directed her to the free ultrasound] an angel sent from God,” a volunteer said. “If we hadn’t been there . . . chances are she would have gone into Planned Parenthood.”
“40 Days for Life is a testimony to the power of prayer and what can happen when we’re consumed by a magnificent obsession, namely that life is sacred,” Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family, said. “If you’re growing weary over the increasing level of disrespect of the most innocent among us, I would urge you to remember that situations are not always as they appear. God is on the move even amidst the darkness.”