Since 2007, hundreds of thousands of pro-life advocates around the globe have participated in 40 Days for Life, a peaceful prayer campaign outside abortion facilities worldwide. Volunteers typically pray in organized shifts, with the goal of maintaining an all-day vigil. They often speak to abortion-vulnerable clients, too.
This spring’s campaign was held from February 17 to March 28. Pro-lifers in Oregon had their choice of three vigil locations: Beaverton, Salem or Eugene.
Bob Snyder led the Salem campaign, praying outside Planned Parenthood on NE Wolverine Street. Volunteer numbers and hours covered were both up significantly, he says, and at least one mother changed her mind as of press time after 40 Days for Life’s participants told her about nearby Hope Pregnancy Clinic. Encouragingly, at least 50 new prayer warriors registered for shifts.
“Each Salem campaign is larger than the one before it,” Snyder says. “Each one adds dozens of new volunteers.”
Therese Ruesink heads the 40 Days for Life presence on SW 1st Street in Beaverton. She shared fetal models with potential abortion clients and gave pregnancy- and infant-related goodie bags as gifts.
“I [tell] them to call me if they need anything, like a car seat, stroller, et cetera, to just let us know,” Ruesink says.
Down in Eugene, Eileen McMahan notes that this spring’s campaign felt much more relaxed than the one that ran last election season, and the passerby response was often supportive. A trio of sisters, for example, held signs, including one that read, “Honk if you [love] life!”
“They received many, many happy honks and waves from folks driving by!” McMahan says.
Snyder says that campaigns like 40 Days for Life are crucial to making abortion unthinkable, especially in states like Oregon.
“It is important to have a pro-life presence outside abortion clinics, because it informs or reminds passersby and community members that Planned Parenthood aborts children in that facility and outside it through chemical abortions,” he says.
For more information on future campaigns, see 40daysforlife.com.