"Starting Wednesday, and continuing through November 1, tens of thousands of faithful people in 212 cities -- across 45 American states, five Canadian provinces, and Denmark -- will conduct a unified 40-day campaign of prayer and fasting for an end to abortion, peaceful vigils outside abortion facilities and Planned Parenthood offices, and grassroots community organizing," said David Bereit, national director of 40 Days for Life.
40 Days for Life is a pro-life initiative that burst onto the national scene just two years ago and has already mobilized more than 215,000 people in 240 cities across all 50 American states and several other countries during four previous coordinated campaigns, saving 1,561 lives from abortion. This fall's 40 Days for Life campaign, the group's largest to date, will be the most widespread and longest coordinated pro-life mobilization in history.
Dozens of the largest pro-life and pro-family organizations and many prominent religious leaders, including more than 20 Catholic bishops, have endorsed and promoted 40 Days for Life.
The abortion industry, whose business has been detrimentally affected by 40 Days for Life, has launched a misinformation blitz in an attempt to paint 40 Days for Life as something other than a peaceful, prayerful endeavor. "It's really no surprise," said Bereit, "especially the inflammatory rhetoric coming from Planned Parenthood." More than 90 of the prayer vigil locations are Planned Parenthood facilities.
In Houston, Planned Parenthood is asking supporters to "defend women's health" during the campaign, which the local affiliate refers to as "40 days of harassment." In St. Louis, Planned Parenthood has hung a huge "defend the truth" banner from the side of its building. "Ironically, the truth is something Planned Parenthood tries to hide," said Bereit. "The truth is that the child in the womb is a human being, and that abortion takes the life of the child and can leave a devastating impact on the mother."
Over the last few months, 40 Days for Life has drawn national attention by helping to assemble the "Stop the Abortion Mandate" coalition of more than 70 pro-life organizations working to ensure that abortion is explicitly excluded from proposed health care reform. 40 Days for Life organized a massive webcast that educated 36,000 attendees about the abortion mandate in health care reform proposals. These efforts were so effective that abortion proponents attempted to mimic them by organizing a "40 Days for Health Reform" campaign which featured President Obama on a copycat webcast.
"We have never before seen the intensity of passion and extensive involvement in pro-life efforts that we are seeing all across North America right now," said Bereit. "We don't know what blessings this fall's 40 Days for Life will hold, but we can't wait to see what God has in store!"