WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 /Christian Newswire/ -- 40 Days for Life begins its second nationwide pro-life campaign tomorrow, as volunteers in 59 cities across the country launch into an intensive 40 day program of prayer and fasting, community outreach, and constant vigil at locations where abortions are performed. The event coincides with the beginning of the Christian season of Lent, and runs from February 6 through March 16. The participating cities are listed at: http://www.40daysforlife.com/location.html.
"When we conducted the first simultaneous, national 40 Days for Life campaign last fall," said David Bereit, 40 Days for Life's national campaign director, "we were immediately approached by people who were so excited by this fresh new approach that they wanted to lead their own 40 Days for Life events in their own communities during 2008. Almost every one of them pointed to the Lenten season as the ideal time to engage in prayer and fasting for an end to abortion. It's actually a perfect match."
Planned Parenthood in particular has been keenly aware of the vigils conducted outside its abortion facilities. During the fall 2007 40 Days for Life events, the organization's national office even circulated e- mail alerts to abortion advocates around the country, calling for their financial help to fight back against 40 Days for Life. "The 40 Days for Life effort had a marked impact on Planned Parenthood," said Bereit. "Reports from across the country made that quite clear."
· In Indianapolis, a state-of-the-art Planned Parenthood abortion facility closed on at least two of their busiest abortion Saturdays. Sidewalk counselors believe the number of abortions decreased from an average of 20 a day to as few as five a day.
· In College Station, Texas, local leaders noted numerous women asking for alternatives to Planned Parenthood because of the prayer presence. The number of new people getting involved in pro-life outreach greatly increased, and people were eager to continue praying at the clinic after 40 Days for Life was over.
· In Illinois, a vigil participant said, "We pray every day during Planned Parenthood's office hours. Some pray 12-16 hours a day. We will not go away until they are gone. We are educating the community. We cannot stop now; we must keep Planned Parenthood on the defensive."
"We now know," said Bereit, "that faithful people across the country see the value of uniting together in one common purpose: ending the tragedy of abortion. We look forward to seeing how this new national outpouring will help lead more communities to turn away from abortion."