The pro-life campaign 40 Days for Life announced a major milestone on November 19: the celebration of its 20,000th confirmed baby saved through 40 days of peaceful prayer, fasting, and public witness.
Just days before the big announcement, the international organization held a webcast sharing highlights from the fall 2021 campaign, which was marked by the first documented save of triplets, plus an astounding six sets of twins saved. In that webcast, the organization reported that 779 babies were saved this fall, three abortion workers quit, and multiple abortion facilities closed. But within days, President and CEO Shawn Carney announced that several of those statistics had already been updated, with verified reports of an additional 70 babies saved during the most recent campaign, bringing the total to 850 babies saved across 612 vigil sites globally — and another abortion worker left the industry.
As of November 20, the 40 Days for Life website listed 20,368 babies saved since the first campaign in 2007, 229 conversions of abortion workers who left the industry, and 114 abortion facilities shut down.
Campaign director Steve Karlen noted that during the fall campaign, a vigil participant named Hugo was praying at a Mexico City abortion facility after-hours, despite wondering if being there after closing was a waste of time since no one would see him. But as he prayed, a man riding by on a bus saw him. The man had just learned that his girlfriend had aborted their baby, and “was so filled with despair that he resolved to take his own life.” Karlen said, “He left his home that evening with the intention of it being his last time leaving his home, and on his way to the destination where he was going to take his own life, he saw Hugo out there on the street, on his knees, praying for an end to abortion.”
The man got off the bus and talked at length with Hugo, who directed him to professional mental health and abortion healing resources. The man told Hugo, “You saved my life.”
Karlen further noted that while some pro-lifers may be tempted to think that abortion facilities only close in “red states” or generally pro-life areas, the fall 2021 campaign saw facility closures in heavily pro-abortion and aggressively anti-life areas, including Chicago, London, and Seattle. In another first, a 40 Days for Life vigil was held this fall in South Korea. Carney celebrated, “We’re winning. […] We’re winning because Planned Parenthood in the last decade has closed 36% of their locations. We’ve seen over the last 25 years half of all abortion facilities close and go out of business.”
In a moving four-minute video tribute to 40 Days for Life participants and other pro-lifers who advocate for mothers and their preborn children, Carney said, “There is absolutely nothing like having a mom who you helped get away [from the abortion clinic], hand you that baby boy or baby girl that is alive today, that was so close to becoming one of the 56 million that die every year around the world — so close to becoming a statistic. But now they have a name, and they’re going to go to Kindergarten, and they’re going to play tee-ball, and they’re going to do all the great things that kids ought to be doing.”
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