Pro-life advocates around the globe recently participated in the 26th 40 Days for Life campaign. There were a number here in Oregon. We hope to eventually feature all of Oregon’s faithful sidewalk advocates, but here are a couple stories.
More than 50 Portland-area advocates arrived at Lovejoy Surgicenter for the campaign kickoff on March 7, led by former abortion provider Dr. Haywood Robinson. As the current director of medical affairs & education for 40 Days for Life, Dr. Robinson inspired volunteers and even spoke with protesters.
The idea behind the 40 Days for Life campaign is simple: show up at an abortion clinic with life-affirming help and hope for incoming patients over 40 straight days. On day 10, a woman left Lovejoy visibly upset. The 40 Days team offered her pro-life literature. She eventually declared her intention to leave without an abortion.
“Our team congratulated her and told her not to worry, that we would do everything we could to help her keep her baby,” says Therese Ruesink, Portland’s 40 Days campaign leader.
Less than one week later, the team encountered a couple who had driven from Idaho for an abortion consultation. Ruesink and others encouraged them to look at and listen to their ultrasound. They did and left without ending their unborn child’s heartbeat.
By the day’s end, two more pregnant mothers informed the team that they would continue their pregnancies — three “saves” in one day. As Ruesink says, “Hope is contagious!”
The coronavirus mandates forced campaigners to close shop on Day 25, yet the event was by no means a failure.
“Ironically, much healing often occurs during these campaigns,” says Ruesink. “People come off the street and tell their abortion experiences or ‘near misses’ with their child that they now hold precious in their sight. We’ve even had former abortion workers tell their horrendous stories.”
In Clark County, Washington, a woman across the street from Planned Parenthood told a 40 Days volunteer her story. Her neighbors’ unmarried daughter was experiencing an unsupported pregnancy. Her family wanted her to abort. She refused so her family threatened eviction. The neighbor offered to let the young woman live with her. When the baby arrived, the once-cold parents fell in love with their new grandchild.
The next 40 Days for Life will be the fall campaign from Sept. 23 – Nov. 1, 2020. You can find more information about campaigns in your area at 40daysforlife.com.