This Thursday, September 24th, 2014 kicks off "40 Days for Life", a time for the pro-life community to come together and make a concerted effort to decrease abortion. (As a side note, this campaign is about ending abortion through cultural shift and not about outlawing abortion through force of law. You do not have to advocate for banning or criminalizing abortion or to identify as pro-life to wish for the practice to end and/or dramatically decrease, and to take actions to make that more likely. All people who hope to see a decrease in abortion are welcome to participate in 40 days for life!)
Many cities have local movements planning their 40 Days for Life activities, and you can find out if your city is one of them on the 40 Days for Life website.
One of the things I love about this movement is the guidelines for participants; they make it very clear that everyone participating is to be peaceful and loving. The goal is not to antagonize Planned Parenthood's employees, patients, supporters, or anyone else who is pro-choice and/or pro-abortion. The goal is to use our time and talents to encourage and uplift, to educate and attempt to create a culture if life, in hopes that truth and love will triumph over death.
You catch more flies with honey, and love will save more babies than shame. I think we can make a big positive difference in the world over the next 40 days, and I hope you'll consider joining me.
There are three main ways the campaign suggests interested people get involved:
Prayer and Fasting
Pray for expecting mothers and fathers and for their unborn children. Pray for people who work in medical fields directly and indirectly involved in performing abortions. Pray for pro-abortion activists. God changing hearts and minds is a powerful way to end abortion!
Volunteer with a crisis pregnancy center near you. Help raise donations for the local shelter for battered women and children. Look for concrete ways to reach out to families in crisis.
If you are active online, you can also look for ways to reach out to your online community. Even something as simple as tweeting something positive about pregnancy and babies or sharing a Facebook post about a diaper bank that helps families who struggle to afford them on their own can help.
There will be peaceful vigils outside Planned Parenthoods across the nation. If you participate in this way, it becomes all the more important to review the guidelines for lovingly praying on public land outside PP and to follow them. For example, the 40 Days for Life website clearly recommends that anyone participating "avoids shouting, confrontation with patients and employees, and the use of graphic abortion images. " and instead show love and mercy. Praying silently or holding a sign with a positive message like "God loves you" will be more loving and more effective than being hateful towards people.