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BY JOSEPH PRONECHEN
The 40 Days for Life fall campaign launched on Sept. 28, and it’s already running ahead of the spring campaign (which turned out to be the largest to date) — it looks like it will be a record-setter.
This morning from North Dakota, campaign director Shawn Carney told me that since fall of 2007, when 40 Days for Life
was launched as a national coordinated effort, usually the fall campaign has been the larger effort.
But the final tallies this past May saw 80,000 participants at a record 247 locations across the United States, plus in Canada, Australia, England, Ireland, Spain, Armenia and Georgia. There were 714 lives known to be saved from abortion. Plus 10 workers at abortion facilities quit their jobs, and three abortion facilities went out of business.
“Going into this we didn’t know what to think,” Carney told me. No wonder they were elated when 301 cities applied to participate in this fall’s campaign.
“There are 46 brand-new cities and for the first time Argentina, Puerto Rico and Germany,” Carney reported.
As of Monday, Oct. 3 — not yet a week into the campaign — more than 40 babies were definitely saved. In fact, in Grand Rapids, Mich., a mom chose life for her unborn baby in the first hour of the first day’s campaign.
“That never happened before,” Carney said. “It was an exciting start.”
Later that first day, the same thing happened again — in Syracuse, N.Y.
Carney says a lot of women choose life because they see the faithful witness of people participating in the campaign. He also believes that 40 Days for Life’s impact is far-reaching because the campaigns are often in areas that have little or no public opposition to abortion; 40 Days brings awareness to places where many people don’t know that abortions are performed.
Overall, in the last four years, 16 abortion facilities have closed following one or more 40 Days for Life campaigns outside their doors, and 53 abortion-facilities workers have had conversions and left their jobs. Abby Johnson, the author of Unplanned is one of them.
Another is Ramona Trevino, who managed a Planned Parenthood in Sherman, Texas. She was impacted by 40 Days’ first campaign there — with dramatic results. As Carney recalled, “She came out and wanted out of the abortion business — and they closed that facility on Aug. 23.”
“Every 40 Days for Life campaign we have three things happen,” Carney said. “1) Women choose life for their babies. 2) Abortion-facilities workers have conversions and leave their jobs. 3) An abortion facility closes.”
With only two employees, 40 Days for Life faces the Goliath killing industry and continues to prove to be another David.
(Editor’s note: Check back for occasional updates on the campaign.)
Joseph Pronechen is the Register’s staff writer.