A woman who has helped save hundreds of lives from abortion discovers later in life that she was almost aborted. An abortion doctor who heard prayers and singing in the pregnancy center next door to his abortion facility ends up never doing another abortion. A young pregnant woman in Texas tried to call Planned Parenthood to schedule an abortion—but what unfolded saved her baby’s life. These are just some of the stories that are shared in the new book, “The Beginning of the End of Abortion; 40 Inspiring Stories of God Changing Hearts and Saving Lives.” The book is written by Shawn Carney, president/CEO of 40 Days for Life, which has saved more than 14,000 children since 2007 by having prayer vigils outside of abortion clinics and peaceful community engagement.
Of using 40 inspiring stories, Carney noted that the number 40 has special significance in the Bible- such as the 40 days of rain causing the great flood and Jesus spending 40 days in the wilderness and in his organization.
Carney shares his reflections on what is happening with the pro-life movement.
“Despite nearly 50 years of legalized abortion in the United States, the pro-life movement has more momentum now than ever before at the most important level- the local level. We are actively building a culture of life in more than 750 cities in 50 countries. From women courageously choosing life at the last moment to abortion workers having a change of heart to abortion facilities closing at a record pace the last five years, we are seeing the beginning of the end of abortion.”
“The Beginning of the End of Abortion” opens with a foreword from Sue Thayer, the former manager of a Planned Parenthood in Storm Lake, Iowa, who experienced a change of heart and then organized a 40-day prayer vigil outside her old facility, which eventually closed.
“From my dad with the abortion giant, I knew how much Planned Parenthood despises 40 Days for Life. 40 Days of Torture they would call it. Or worse. But I had witnessed firsthand the chaos and struggle inside the clinic whenever someone was outside praying. I knew it moved hearts.”
The 40 Days for Life volunteers use prayer and fasting, 24-hour vigils, and community outreach to save lives, inspire abortion workers to quit, and close abortion facilities, such as the one in Bryan, Texas that now serves as the headquarters of 40 Days for Life. Since going national in 2007, the ministry has mounted more than 5,600 campaigns in 50 countries.
“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.” 2 Chronicles 7:14-15
Pray. Prayer is an integral party to seeing abortion end. Here are some of the prayer requests that 40 Days for Life asks people to pray for: women who are at risk of having an abortion, innocent children who are at risk of perishing, men and women who carry the pain of a past abortion experience, workers at Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics, local, regional and national leaders, revival and renewal in our churches, repentance and healing throughout our nation.
Heal. The topic of abortion can be a difficult topic to talk about. For some they made a decision and now live with regret. If you or someone you know had an abortion, it can be helpful to seek counseling. Ask a pastor or small group leader if they have a recommendation for a counselor to talk to. Sometimes it can help to bring a close friend or your spouse with you to the counseling session for support. If you have gotten into an argument with a friend, co-worker or classmate about abortion, seek reconciliation. You may not have the same beliefs as the other person, but you can agree to disagree. Pray and ask God to show you the words to say and forgive the other person.
Give life. Pray about how you can support ministries and organizations that are Pro Life. It could be volunteering at the Crisis Pregnancy center or donating resources to them so that they can continue their work. It could be becoming a foster or adoptive parent. Take time this week to pray and ask God how you can support life. Be obedient to the things that he shows you and what he lays on your heart.