"PEOPLE ARE DRIVING AN HOUR TO GET ABORTIONS, SO WE HAVE TO BE WILLING TO DRIVE THAT HOUR TO CHANGE SOMEONE’S HEART AND MIND ABOUT ABORTION"
Pro-life advocates showed up by the hundreds to participate in the inaugural 40 Days for Life Ontario campaign.
In spring 2023, Planned Parenthood opened an Ontario location just across the border from Idaho to encourage abortion tourism after Idaho restricted abortion. This fall, they were met with a wildly successful 40 Days for Life campaign. An estimated 400 people participated, and the campaign has confirmed that at least one life was saved because of their peaceful, prayerful presence.
Bishop Liam Cary asked every church in the Diocese of Baker to send a contingency of prayer warriors to Ontario to participate in the campaign and pray for an end to abortion. Hundreds of parishioners traveled to Ontario for Pray-4-Life: Ontario Pilgrimage 2023.
Oregonians weren’t the only participants. Idahoans who had previously participated in the Meridian campaign drove to Ontario to pray. Emily Naugle, one of the leaders of the 40 Days for Life Ontario campaign, is one such Idahoan. From where she lives, it’s about a 45-minute drive to Ontario, but the drive was worth it, she said.
“People are driving that hour to get abortions,” she pointed out, “so we have to be willing to drive that hour to change someone’s heart and mind about abortion.”
Despite the challenges of pro-life advocacy, Naugle maintains her passion for the cause. She feels called to this work, and her faith helps her retain hope. “When you’re trying to be the light, you have to go to dark places, and there’s nowhere darker than an abortion clinic,” she shared.
Naugle was not alone in bringing that light and hope to Ontario. The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church played a vital role in the campaign’s success. The church provided food for pilgrims who drove hours to participate, parishioners opened their homes for people to stay in and the church helped coordinate and communicate special prayer services, Masses and vigil times.
On November 5, the final rally of the campaign brought 150 pro-life advocates to participate in the vigil outside Planned Parenthood. Bishop Cary led a special bilingual Mass at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church to celebrate the campaign.
Bishop Liam Cary led a bilingual mass on the final day of the rally.
Emily Naugle and her 10-year-old daughter Siena prayed outside on the sidewalk.
Approximately 150 people gathered outside Planned Parenthood for the November 5 closing rally.