.- The pro-life advocacy group 40 Days for Life has announced the launch of its biggest campaign ever this fall, with over 300 locations worldwide participating in the event.
The growth has “been a joy to see and I think it shows that people want to respond to the crisis of abortion,” director Shawn Carney told CNA.
The Sept. 28 through Nov. 6 campaign – which includes fasting and peaceful prayer outside of local abortion facilities – will take place in 48 U.S. states, 7 Canadian provinces, Australia, England, Spain and, for the first time, Germany and Argentina.
“Forty Days for Life is nothing but an invitation – it's built on the basics,” Carney said. “It's prayer, it's showing up at these places where the babies are lost and it's fasting.”
The 300 locations where the campaign will be held include over 70 new sites, he added.
The initiative began in 2004 and consisted of Carney and his wife and friends in Bryan, Texas. It soon grew to such an extent that the group launched nationally in the fall of 2007 with 89 locations across the U.S.
Over the last four years more than 400,000 have joined to pray and fast for an end to abortion and over 13,000 church congregations have participated in 40 Days for Life campaigns.
“We've seen immense growth,” he said. “We would never have foreseen this. People have gotten over their fear of going out and praying in front of an abortion facility.”
Carney observed that the growing success of the campaign is due in part to most people being against abortion but also not knowing how to respond besides voting pro-life.
“In the states, we've always seen the solution to abortion as something that will take place in Washington D.C.,” he pointed out.
“And, while that's certainly a huge part of it and one that we need, I think 40 Days for Life has helped open the eyes of people to see that abortions don't happen in the White House or in the halls of Congress – they are happening around the corner from where you live.”
“You can do something about that but that something has to be grounded in prayers, it needs to be peaceful and it needs to get people's attention,” Carney said.
Since the beginning of the campaign in 2007, over 4,000 unborn babies have been spared from abortion and 53 abortion workers have quit their jobs and walked away from the industry. Fifteen abortion clinics where vigils have been held have also shut down.
“It's really been humbling and amazing to see,” Carney said, adding that the group is “trying to keep up with what God is doing and what he has done through this simple effort.”
For more information, visit: http://www.40daysforlife.com/location.cfm.