.- The pro-life organization 40 Days for Life is nearing the end of its Fall campaign of prayer, fasting, and vigils near abortion facilities. Leaders claimed the campaign helped save 441 babies from abortion and advanced outreach to those who suffer the aftereffects of or have assisted in abortions.
The campaign began on September 24 and included participants in 175 communities in 47 states and two Canadian provinces. It formally ends on Sunday.
“Even after praying and fasting for 40 days - and being involved in vigils that in many cities went round the clock, seven days a week -many of the people who are participating in this campaign simply don't want to see it end," said David Bereit, national campaign director of 40 Days for Life. "Tens of thousands of people have prayed in front of abortion facilities, many for the first time. They see the impact of that peaceful presence, and they yearn to keep going."
"People across the country have expressed an interest in getting involved in the effort to end abortion," Bereit continued, "but far too often, they didn't know where to start. 40 Days for Life provided a starting point. Now they've seen what can happen; and now that they've taken that first step, they're eagerly anticipating additional opportunities for continuing their pro-life outreach."
Bereit added that the campaign’s vigils show the importance of being physically present at the clinics.
“This is where the evil of abortion is committed; this is where the evil of abortion must be confronted. People who seek the services of abortionists are people who have lost hope. The sight of people engaged in peaceful, prayerful vigil sends a message of hope at precisely the time these women need it the most. We must - and we will - continue to be present to offer that hope.”
Some volunteers in some cities are discussing extending the daily vigils, even until the clinics are closed. Volunteers have reportedly expressed interest in becoming involved in sidewalk counseling, post-abortion ministry and pregnancy resource centers.
“We know of at least 441 lives that were saved from abortion as a result of the 40 Days for Life effort thus far," said Bereit. "But those are not the only lives that have been changed. We hear every day about people seeking help who have been dealing with abortion experiences - some of them have been hurting for more than 30 years. There are people in the abortion industry who have been touched by this effort. They, too, are witnessing the power of prayer at work first hand.”
“We've seen the evidence that God has blessed this effort, and we can't wait to see where He will lead us next,” Bereit concluded.