National Catholic Register


Wrong Number Is Right For a Needy Mom

Two 40 Days for Life Success Stories

BY Danielle Bean

| Posted 3/18/10 at 12:42 AM


Have you ever volunteered to do pro-life work or pray in front of an abortion clinic? Have you ever wondered if it’s all just a waste of time?

Perhaps you should ask “Erin,” a young Indiana mom of four who was pregnant with her fifth and had an appointment for an abortion scheduled at a local Planned Parenthood. When she realized she was late for the appointment, she attempted to call the clinic to see if she could still come in, but she accidentally misdialed the number.

The number she dialed just so happened to be the cell phone number of “40 Days for Life Indianapolis.”


The man who answered her call took her number and told her he would have a counselor call her back. Elizabeth, the woman who called her back, let her know she had a wrong number, but it turned out to be a right one for “Erin” and her family:

“Erin explained that desperation had led her to the abortion center. She already had four children and their father was in jail. She had lost her job, her electricity was about to be shut off and she lacked rent money.

Elizabeth spread news about Erin’s situation to other pro-lifers. One volunteer offered to pay her electric bill, while ten others pooled their cash to pay her rent. A local group is now working with Erin to help her find a job.


Erin has reportedly reacted with ‘joy and disbelief’ at the strangers’ help. She has called Planned Parenthood to cancel her appointment and to request a refund.

‘God does work in mysterious ways. There are no coincidences … and in this case, no wrong numbers!’ 40 Days for Life director David Bereit said in a statement.”

The 40 Days for Life campaign is dedicated to prayerful pro-life witness outside abortion clinics.

I don’t doubt for a minute that its their prayerful commitment that led to Erin’s misdialed number and connection with people who would support her in choosing life for her baby.

During this Lent’s 40 Days campaign and ones in the past, there have been an astonishing number of reports of people being moved by the powerful witness of people who commit to praying in front of abortion clinics.

In one particularly moving story, the mere presence of pro-lifers outside a clinic convinced a woman to change her mind about having an abortion:

“If you guys weren’t out there praying,” this woman said, “I would have pulled up to the facility, sat in my car for hours on end—and ended up going inside for a fifth abortion. Since you were on the sidewalk praying, I knew I could find comfort and support there, so I went there to cry instead. Thank you for being there.”

Think praying outside an abortion clinic doesn’t make a difference? Think again.