680 babies saved during 40 Days for Life spring Lenten campaign

40 days for life Spain Image credit: 40 days for life

The international organization 40 Days for Life reported Wednesday that during its 2023 Lenten campaign, 680 babies were saved from abortion around the world, totaling 23,528 children rescued since the initiative began in 2007.

In information shared with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, 40 Days for Life in Ibero-America said that during the campaign, which lasted from Feb. 22 to April 2 in the liturgical season of Lent, three abortion clinics were also closed in the world and “three workers converted” to the pro-life cause.

Since this initiative began in the United States, 139 abortion centers around the world have been closed and 250 abortion workers decided to leave the industry, the Spanish website of the prayer and fasting campaign says.

Regarding Ibero-America, the country with the most rescues was Colombia, with 44 babies, followed by Mexico with 11; Spain with 10; Portugal with eight; Argentina, Bolivia, and Honduras with three each; Ecuador and Peru with two each; and Chile with one.

As it states on its website, the goal of 40 Days for Life is to “end abortion locally through prayer and fasting, community outreach, and a peaceful all-day vigil in front of abortion businesses.”

In a statement to ACI Prensa, Lourdes Varela, director of 40 Days for Life in Ibero-America, highlighted the importance of prayer in the pro-life struggle, because, she said, if you want to end abortion, “the first thing you must do is pray.”

“Prayer is at the center of 40 Days for Life, and that is why we call on people of faith around the world to get on their knees before God and ask him to hear us and heal our land,” she said.

Varela pointed out that “we must pray outside the abortion center,” in the church, at work, with family, because “Christ told us that demons can only be expelled through prayer and fasting, so both go hand in hand.”

Regarding fasting, the pro-life leader explained that “it’s a sacrifice that helps us to go beyond our own limits with the help of God.” During the campaign, “churches, families, and groups are invited to unite as the body of Christ for a goal.”

Laws that punish prayers in front of abortion clinics

In recent times, countries such as Spain and the United Kingdom have passed laws that penalize peaceful prayer near abortion businesses. The director of 40 Days for Life in Ibero-America noted that these present a challenge to pro-life activists.

“The great challenge is that our faith will be put to the test in the face of looming persecution. We ask everyone not to be afraid because God is the Master and Lord of the universe and Christ has already won the victory on the cross,” she said.

Varela, spokesperson for 40 Days for Life in Ibero-America, encouraged activists to stand firm in the face of these laws and continue with prayer and fasting, “because we know it’s a spiritual battle.”

“What we can see with this legislation is that they fear us because they have to move an entire political system and create laws so that we don’t go out to pray. They’re afraid of a few people who, for every hour, for every time slot, go to pray outside these abortion centers,” she said.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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