Were there to be no support in the whole history of ethical and moral thought, were there no acknowledged confirmation from medical science, were the history of legal opinion to the contrary, we would still have to conclude on the basis of God's Holy Word that the unborn child is a person in the sight of God. He is protected by the sanctity of life graciously given to each individual by the Creator, Who alone places His image upon man and grants them any right to life which they have.
Sunday, October 5, 2014
From 40 Days For Life: DAY 12: By the numbers
Dear Deacon John,
When prayers go up,
abortions often go down. When you commit to a leap of faith and pray
for an end to abortion — outside the places where the abortions take
place — you won't always see the results. But God uses your presence to save lives.
If you look at the
numbers, you can often see the direct impact of the Holy Spirit. Several
former abortion workers have told us that the no-show rate for abortion
appointments skyrockets when people are outside praying.
Today, we look at
two cities where multiple 40 Days for Life prayer vigils have been
conducted ... through the prayers and courage of volunteers ... and the decrease in abortions that followed.
I had an
opportunity to meet with the Madison team recently. The first 40 Days
for Life vigil came to Madison the year this coordinated outreach began –
2007. Here are the area's abortion numbers for each year since 2006:
For 2007 and 2008,
the abortion numbers were exactly the same – that’s not a mistake! As
the chart above shows ... in each year since, the total number of abortions in Dane County, Wisconsin – where Madison is located – has come down.
With the economy in recession in 2009, statewide abortion numbers in Wisconsin went up. But not in Madison.
Starting in 2011,
an expanded prayer presence on the sidewalk began year-round, with
people peacefully holding vigil every hour the Planned Parenthood
abortion center was open. Abortion numbers declined again.
In 2012, Women’s
Care Center, offering positive pregnancy help, opened up right across
the street from Planned Parenthood. And again, abortion numbers went down.
The bottom line is that abortions in Madison have decreased by 37% since 2006, which just so happens to have been the last year before 40 Days for Life began.
Beth in Columbus is
encouraged by the latest abortion update from the Ohio health
department. “The statistics paint a wonderful story that abortions continue to decline in central Ohio,” she said.
In Franklin County,
where Columbus is located, the number fell from 5,698 abortions in 2012
to 4,966 in 2013 – a number Beth described as a record low.
Columbus is another
community where the history of 40 Days for Life dates back to that
first national campaign seven years ago. People there saw the value of
prayer outside the abortion center … and wanted to do more.
“Greater Columbus Right to Life significantly increased our sidewalk presence
in 2013 and through 2014,” she said. “We believed that a loving,
effective and faithful presence on the sidewalks was needed here in
central Ohio. It hasn't always been easy, but it certainly has been worth it.”
There’s still work
to do, she said, noting the abortion total was still close to 5,000.
“But the momentum is clearly on the side of life … thank you for all
that you do to build a culture of life in our community.”
Here's today's devotional from Kevin Burke, executive director of Rachel's Vineyard Ministries.
Day 12 intention
May the King of the Universe, who entered this world as a helpless infant, give us the humility to be healed.
My power is made perfect in weakness.
—2 Corinthians 12:9
Reflection The great mystery
of the Humility of God is very near and dear to the mission of those
serving in pro life and in a special way, post abortion ministries
across this nation.
For those wounded
by their participation in abortion, the door to healing often feels like
crossing an abyss of great fear: fear of judgment, fear of being torn
apart by the pain, by self hatred and rage at those who hurt and
abandoned you, and manipulated you in your time of temptation.
For men in
particular, entering the unknown waters of emotional vulnerability, so
necessary to healing calls for a different kind of courage that feels
deceptively like weakness.
The door to
healing is humility. It is born in the inability to no longer control
the pain, to live with the consequences of that tragic decision to
reject life. The hearts cries out, "I have committed a grave offense
against my Creator and I am consumed by regret, grief and sorrow!"
During these forty
days let us pray for all who have participated in abortion and with
love call them to healing and reconciliation. With healing these women
and men can become as John Paul II proclaimed in the Gospel of Life,
"the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life."
"I am the Vine, you are the branches" (John 15:5). To bear the greatest
fruit, the branches must be pruned. Each level of pruning of the vine
requires a deeper level of humility so that we can abandon ourselves to
This is not a
lofty theological concept as much as it is an earthy experience of
pulling weeds, tilling rocky soil, pruning and healing the vines. "If a
man wishes to come after me, he must deny his very self, take up his
cross, and begin to follow in my footsteps" (Matthew 16:24).
Prayer Lord, during these
forty days, we ask that with each day of this sacred vigil, everything
in us that separates us from your perfect will would be pruned from our
hearts and souls.
In this blessed
freedom may we experience a powerful anointing of your Holy Spirit.
Filled with confidence and trust may we proclaim with the mother of
Jesus, "Let it be done to me, according to your Word."
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