The campaign started on September 22 and included 40 days of prayer, fasting, educational outreach, and vigils outside of abortion mills by volunteers. Organizers said the pro-life events took place in a record 238 places throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and even Denmark.
“It’s Day 40 — and I have great news to share! As of right now, we know of 541 babies — and their mothers — that God has spared from abortion,” national organizer Shawn Carney told LifeNews.com after the campaign. “That’s at least 3,352 since the first coordinated "40 Days for Life" campaign a mere three years ago. And who knows how many more that we’ll never hear about.”
One of those children saved from abortion was in Jacksonville, Florida. On October 11, Jackie Sikes, the Respect Life Coordinator for Our Lady of Consolation parish in Callahan, was standing outside an “abortuary” with her husband, Doug. They had been there for about five minutes holding a sign that read, “Abortion Stops a Beating Heart.” Suddenly, an SUV pulled up and a young woman jumped out and hurried inside.
“Please, God, Blessed Mother, and all the angels, let her come out," Mrs. Sikes prayed. And then, about ten minutes later, the young woman came back out and got into the truck.
As it was pulling away, “She rolled down the window and said ‘I decided not to do it!!!’ and she looked at my sweet husband's face and said ‘Thank you so much for being here today,’ ”
Mrs. Sikes told The New American. “It was kind of the Lord to let me see — in real life — that my actions are working.”
She called that experience “the first miracle” she had ever witnessed — and she has been active in the pro-life movement for almost three decades. “The campaign started out small, just trying to bring attention to the atrocities of abortions — over 50 million babies have been killed in America since Roe vs. Wade. Since then, it has spread around the world, and my prayer is that it will continue to expand,” Sikes explained.
"It does work and it does save children … and the people that are involved come away blessed that they were able to do something to stop this,” she concluded.
Another child was saved in Texas when pro-life volunteers witnessed a 16-year-old girl being coerced by her parents into having an abortion. Apparently she was even dragged by her hair. Pro-lifers called the police, got the non-profit Alliance Defense Fund involved, obtained a temporary restraining order, and finally a long-term order. And now, the parents have agreed not to force their daughter into having the abortion that neither she nor the baby’s father desired.
“The right not to have an abortion is protected by law, and this right isn’t relinquished just because someone else considers the child to be an unwanted burden,” ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman told the Catholic News Agency. “This situation illustrates what a difference it can make when a woman is more fully informed about the true nature of abortion,” he added, referring to the 16-year-old’s increasing resoluteness after receiving pro-life literature from sidewalk counselors.
Similar stories of babies spared from abortion poured into the small headquarters from around the world. And when a woman changes her mind, the pro-lifers are ready with resources and information for the struggling mothers-to-be.
But it isn’t just women seeking abortions and their unborn children who have been affected by the "40 Days For Life" campaign. Clinics have been shut down across America. And numerous abortion-clinic workers were so moved by pro-life efforts that they decided to leave the industry altogether. The pro-life campaigners normally offer whatever assistance they can, including financial help, while the former abortion workers seek new employment.
One of those women, Abby Johnson, a former Texas Planned Parenthood center director, was so moved when she saw an ultrasound that she now works with the "40 Days For Life" campaign outside of her former workplace. Other former abortion workers now speak at pro-life events and have become very active in the movement.
The campaign was started in 2004 by David Bereit in Bryan-College Station, Texas. In 2007, "40 Days For Life" went national. And now, it is making headlines around the world as pro-life activists from other countries learn from the American pro-life movement’s successes. The next campaign will begin in March of next year. And organizers hope it will be the biggest yet.