Billed as “The world’s largest grassroots movement to end abortion,” 40 Days for Life launched in a record 622 cities around the world, including 20 in Canada, for 40 days of continuous prayer outside abortuaries with the goal of ending abortion.
The 40 Days for Life website states “It is a peaceful and educational presence. Those who are called to stand witness during this 24-hour-a-day presence send a powerful message to the community Fabout the tragic reality of abortion. It also serves as a call to repentance for those who work at the abortion centres and those who patronize the facilities.” It does this through prayer, fasting, and community outreach, with pro-lifers holding signs and praying outside abortuaries 24 hours around the clock. The campaign is non-denominational.
The first 40 Days for Life was held in College Station, Texas, in 2004, launched nationally in 2007 and brought to Canada by Campaign Life Coalition in 2008.
In 2010, there were 160 40 Days for Life locations held globally and four in Canada. It continues to grow — and save lives. According to an official count kept by 40 Days for Life, since 2007, there have been 22,289 babies saved, 131 abortion facilities closed, and 242 abortion workers who quit their jobs. It is unknown how many possible thousands of women turned around without notifying 40 Days organizers.
There are two 40 Days for Life campaigns each year, one in the fall and one in the spring. As of Oct. 20, 155 babies were confirmed as saved during the current 40 Days for Life witness. The current campaign is taking place on every continent except Antarctica, but are especially numerous in Europe, North America, and South America. There are five in Africa, one in South Korea, and one in Australia.
This fall’s 40 Days for Life ministry is the first post-Roe campaign. President and CEO Shawn Carney told LifeSiteNews: “We have added new cities and grown even more at the grassroots at a time when abortion is leaving Washington, D.C. and going to where the pro-life movement is the strongest, the local level.”
Meanwhile, Tomislav Cunovic, director of international affairs for 40 Days for Life, told the Catholic News Agency, the twice-yearly campaigns “unites (pro-lifers) who are also in different parts of the world in the struggle for life.”
40 Days for Life in Spain was holding their first campaigns since the passing of a new law in April that bans pro-life speech near abortion facilities, with those found guilty of breaking the law facing a possible prison sentence of 3-12 months. Spanish pro-life and religious leaders vowed that they would not be deterred, with the official 40 Days for Life Spain twitter account proclaiming, “the more they persecute us, the more we will embrace the Cross!”
A notable early success in early October was the closing of a Mexico City abortuary named “Our Lady of Guadalupe Maternity.”
There are a total of 20 locations in Canada for the fall campaign: St. John’s, Halifax, Sherbrooke, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria, and 13 locations in Ontario (Windsor, Sarnia, London, Kitchener, Welland, Niagara Falls, Hamilton, Oakville, Mississauga, Toronto, Peterborough, Ottawa, North Bay).