Commentary by David Bereit, National Coordinator, 40 Days for Life
February 25, 2010 (40DaysforLife.com) - Do you know how important your presence in front of an abortion center can be? Here are a few reports from local 40 Days for Life campaigns that just begin to tell the story.
One of the prayer volunteers in Houston, Texas says a mom and her young son arrived to pray at their vigil in front of Planned Parenthood. The woman had aborted her first child at that very location.
She HAD to be there to pray, she said. "I can't help but think that if some pro-lifers were here" when she had the abortion, "maybe I wouldn't have gone through it."
Those sentiments were echoed by BJ, who posted a comment on the 40 Days for Life blog.
If only there had been someone praying outside Planned Parenthood in her city, 19 years ago, "it would have made all the difference in the world to me and my boyfriend," she wrote. "I regret every day what occurred in that cold winter morning."
Just BEING THERE can have a profound impact.
Joanne tells of a mom who brought her children to the 40 Days for Life vigil in Cranston, Rhode Island. While they were praying, her son noticed a woman sitting in a car in the parking lot. He looked in her direction once, and then again.
The woman looked at him, and their eyes locked.
"The woman began sobbing," Joanne said. "Something in her heart moved."
We pray that God's healing love will touch women contemplating abortion -- and all whose lives have been touched by past abortions. The suffering can go on for years.
Dorothy, who left a note on the 40 Days for Life blog, said she still thinks of the "horrific decision" she made 26 years ago, when there was no one there to tell her she could choose life for her child.
She had never healed from the pain of that abortion -- until recently.
"When I stood and prayed in front of Planned Parenthood, I was flooded with emotion," she wrote. "Holding the sign that 'women regret abortion' empowered me, along with the wonderful people that surrounded me in prayer."
Sadly, not all of the women who see her sign take heed.
"A young woman leaving Planned Parenthood looked away in profound sadness after reading my sign," Dorothy said, "and I thought, 'Dear God. Her life will never be the same.' The impact on women is so understated."
Still, she said, thanks to you and all 40 Days for Life participants, "I am now on the road to healing."
Please pray for all those who seek healing -- and especially for those who would deny that abortion leaves a lasting impact.
This article reprinted with permission from 40DaysforLife.com