Wednesday began the international 40 Days for Life campaign -- the 10th since it first started in 2007. For 40 days, private citizens in 440 cities across the U.S., Canada, and 13 other countries, will join an 18-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week peaceful prayer presence in front of abortion clinics, praying for the lives of unborn children.
What began as a simple effort by one small group in College Station, Texas, has grown to a world-wide crusade, involving more than half a million citizens, 15,000 church congregations, and untold numbers of Christians praying at home. The results of this effort have been remarkable: 5,928 lives spared from abortion, 69 abortion workers left the industry, 24 abortion facilities completely shut down following the local 40 Days for Life campaign, and hundreds of individuals with past abortion experiences have embraced the opportunity for post-abortion healing and recovery.
Here in Southwest Nebraska we are fortunate not to have an abortion clinic in our midst; however we too can be involved in this life-saving effort. What can we do to help?
First we can pray daily for the women who are planning to end their unborn children's lives; we can pray for the prayer vigilers and their efforts; we can pray for our society and our medical community. Second, we can educate ourselves: learn about abortion, what it is, how it is done, what are the physical and emotional after effects on women, what are the statistics and how are they trending? And third, we can get involved: when in Lincoln, stop and pray at the Planned Parenthood clinic, talk to our legislators about passing laws to protect women and children, share the truth with our friends, family, and most important of all, with our children.
The baby that dies in an abortion is more than just a part of the mother; the child has a father, two sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles, often siblings. In this holy week of Judaism, it's a good time to contemplate the ancient Jewish proverb: "Destroy one life, and you annihilate a universe!"