I think David Bereit and Shawn Carney have some of the best pro-life stuff going on with their 40 Days for Life ministry.
40 Days has just released a great promo video for its Fall campaign, which will run September 22 through (fittingly) October 31. Applications will be accepted July 21-31...
Conceived only 6 years ago in 2004, 40 Days went national and international in 2007. Since then 40 Days has spread to 307 cities in all 50 states, 6 Canadian providences, 3 Australian states, Denmark, and Northern Ireland....
Through 40 Days, 350k people from 11k church congregations by the grace of God have saved the lives 2,811 babies, plied 35 abortion clinic workers from their deadly trade, and seen 5 abortion mills close before which they prayed. As recently as June 23 the National Women's Health abortion mill in Raleigh, NC, announced it would stop committing abortions.
The abortion industry cannot stand 40 Days. Imagine your business being severely hampered by prayer warriors 40 days in a row twice a year. When this year's Spring 40 Days campaign started, for instance, Jos at the pro-abortion site Feministing.com spat:
Today marks the start of "40 Days for Life," a campaign of escalated harassment outside targeted reproductive health clinics....
While many clinics have regular street harassers, 40 Days engages folks who have never done this before. The campaign is framed as being mostly about prayer, and there will be an increased number of folks praying outside clinics. These people are using what should be a personal religious action to guilt and shame women....
A heartfelt thanks to everyone taking on the unfortunately necessary work of increased clinic defense during this campaign of cruelty, lies, and hate.
How praying for and saving the lives of babies and mothers could be twisted as hateful is frankly the display of an abnormal mind, which is one of the aspects of abortion 40 Days participants pray against.
40 Days shares that there are ways for non-Christians to participate: http://secularprolife.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=330Posted by: Kelsey at July 19, 2010 3:48 PM
Thanks, Kelsey!Posted by: Jill Stanek at July 19, 2010 4:09 PM
Pointless, yes; hateful, no.Posted by: Nate Sheets at July 19, 2010 6:19 PM
So proud to see that my little town Kalispell, Montana is one of the 5 that has had Planned Parenthood closed!!Posted by: Shannon Norvell at July 19, 2010 8:30 PM
Prayer is never pointless, Nate. I know there are prolifers who are agnostic or atheist who post here and that is their right but there is power in prayer and the greatest revolutions of this nation were founded on the cornerstone of prayer. The American Revolution (our founding fathers were mostly men of great faith and many were ministers who prayed), the Abolistionist Movement (The Underground Railroad which stations were located in many churches and run by mostly white Christians, also Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman were A. A. Christian women of great faith) and the Civil Rights Movement (Rev. Dr. Martin L. King Jr., Rev. Abernathy, many Catholic Priests, white Protestant ministers and Jewish Rabbis singing "We Shall Overcome" and praying comes to mind). And the rest is history. Then I think of the following scriptures "Pray about everything". "Man ought to always pray and not faint". "Nothing is impossible with God." The prayers of the righteous man avails much." "For God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power of love and of a sound mind." "Fear not for the Lord, your God is with you." "Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world". May God open the eyes of our non-believer prolifers to see "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds". May the God of peace and love reveal himself to you. PRAYER CHANGES THINGS.Posted by: Prolifer L at July 19, 2010 9:13 PM
Even if you DON'T believe in prayer, numerous scientific studies have shown that prayer does indeed change things. Check out http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/prayer.html
Even if you don't like the fact that it is a religious site, they give links to the scientific studies and papers available online.Posted by: Elisabeth at July 20, 2010 2:58 AM
Soon to be 4 Australian states... :o) (Australia only has 6 states, and 2 territories, so we're doing pretty well, I think!)
Yesterday, a small group of faithfuls was praying outside one of our local abortion mills and spoke to a young woman who was about to enter the premises. They offered to bring her to our agency for a free ultrasound scan. Her baby put on a terrific show- kicking and waving, and sucking fingers, and mum has decided to let him/her be born. :o)Posted by: Michelle at July 20, 2010 3:47 AM
Woo Hoo! Michelle, praise God for this baby's life being saved. Keep up the good work in Australia. We will keep the prayers coming.Posted by: Prolifer L at July 20, 2010 6:32 AM
"Her baby put on a terrific show- kicking and waving, and sucking fingers, and mum has decided to let him/her be born. :o)"
I think they should offer to show women the ultrasound, just as a matter of full disclosure (if that's the right term). When I had ovarian cysts, the doctor turned the screen and showed me exactly where they were. I know doctors who videotape surgeries and offer it to their patients. My friend who got knee surgery got a video of it. Gross!! But they offer it. Offering to show the woman the ultrasound should be standard.
However, I have trouble believing a woman having a typical abortion (88% in the first trimester, 90+ percent in the first 12 weeks) saw her baby "kicking and waving." I hope you weren't just lying to her. I've seen ultrasounds of babies when the baby is about 6, 7, 8 weeks. It's just a gestational sac and a tiny fetus with stumps for limbs. They certainly were never kicking, so she must have been pretty far along if you were telling her that. Or you were lying.Posted by: Ashley Herzog at July 20, 2010 7:49 AM
Ashley, you are so caustic and bitter lately. Why don't you seek some help? Surely you can get a referral to a compassionate, non-religious counselor?Posted by: ninek at July 20, 2010 8:44 AM
The unborn most certainly move and kick during the first trimester. I felt my children move in the 3rd month but they were moving around before I felt them.
The babies movements early on felt like little flutters. Later on like pokes and still later felt like little kickboxers (:
"It's just a gestational sac and a tiny fetus with stumps for limbs."
Key words: "tiny fetus", in other words human being worthy of protection. Look at the pics of Bethany's baby under most read. Her baby was 6 weeks old. I see fingers -- not stumps.
Ashley, you were the one lied to. And you still continue to lie to yourself.Posted by: Praxedes at July 20, 2010 8:54 AM
Nate, setting aside the prayer issue, I still disagree. 40 Days brings pro-lifers to the abortion center. Just having that presence there is critical. If even one life is saved, or if even one abortion worker gets the support to transition to a life-friendly job, then it isn't pointless.Posted by: Kelsey at July 20, 2010 9:10 AM
How the hell is that bitter? I'm the one who's respecting the truth, not you. I've seen the pictures of Bethany's baby. Sure doesn't look like anything you could see "kicking and waving" on an ultrasound. If you think it does, you're deluding yourself with wishful thinking.
Just to clarify, this is Bethany's baby.
Pro-lifers lie about fetal development at least as much as PP does. I once saw a video of a pro-lifer telling a woman her baby could "cry, smile, rub her eyes..." The woman wasn't even showing. Not only did the pro-lifer have no idea if it was a "she," babies can't smile until what? Eight weeks AFTER birth? My sister didn't until at least then. She was just making stuff up for maximum manipulation.Posted by: Ashley Herzog at July 20, 2010 9:32 AM
Ashley, unborn babies begin moving long before their moms start showing, and this movement can be captured on ultrasound.
Here's an ultrasound video at 7 weeks, 4 days: http://www.ehd.org/movies.php?mov_id=205
Kelsey, I'm not against 40 Days for Life. It's just irritating that it IS the quite obvious increase of pro-life presence, not the actual prayers, that save babies during this time. But with Christianity, you can't lose, so if a baby is saved, attribute it to God, and if a baby is not saved, attribute it to anything other than the fact that there's no God.
But, again, I'm all for 40 Days of Pro-Life Increase Presence Saving Kids And We'll Attribute It To Prayer. I'm just not gonna participate out in the field.Posted by: Nate Sheets at July 20, 2010 9:54 AM
I want a 4D ultrasound. I honestly can't see anything on the regular ones. Sure, I can see the face if it's big enough, but I'm shocked doctors look at such a blurry image and can tell the sex. WTF? I can't make out anything.Posted by: Ashley Herzog at July 20, 2010 9:55 AM
Why does it matter whether a fetus can yet smile or kick or tapdance in the first trimester? Unborn persons are either living humans or they are not.
I will try very hard not to judge you for what you cannot yet do. And I can promise to never take your life because of what you cannot yet do.Posted by: Praxedes at July 20, 2010 10:11 AM
I'm not judging unborn babies for not being able to smile. I'm saying the pro-lifers are lying.
I don't know what compels them to make stuff like that up. Like you said, if they believe embryos are just as valuable, they have no reason to.(My favorite from Townhall columnist Mike Adams: embryos "roll around and play" in the womb.) Maybe they just don't really believe that embryos are as valuable as infants--or don't trust others to believe it--so they have to pretend they have characteristics they don't.Posted by: Ashley Herzog at July 20, 2010 10:16 AM
"..it IS the quite obvious increase of pro-life presence, not the actual prayers, that save babies during this time."
Who are you to say that? Just because you don't believe in prayer doesn't mean it doesn't work.
I personally believe it is the personal sacrifice of the people going to these Temple's of Doom AND the prayers that lead to changing of hearts and minds.Posted by: RSD at July 20, 2010 10:41 AM
Do you normally accuse someone you have never met, or had a reason to doubt, without all the details of the situation, of lying? Or are you just having a bad day and taking it out on someone from the security and anonimity of your computer? (How brave and balanced of you!)
The client I was talking about told us she thought she was 10 weeks pregnant and was told by the abortionist that she would not be allowed to see the scan before her scheduled (now cancelled) abortion.
Our (completely free of charge, but on a much more expensive, modern machine than the abortionist's) ultrasound scan estimated that she was 13.6 weeks from LMP, so her fetus was about 11 weeks 6 days old.
I did not exaggerate what we saw in any way. If I didn't need the mother's permission, or deeply respect her privacy, I would post the footage here so you could see for yourself.
That very same baby, (admittedly already older than many who are aborted in my state, though I never claimed this was the "typical" situation) can still be legally aborted, at the mother's request, anytime in the next six weeks.
(FYI-over 500 babies older than this one will be aborted in my state this year. One client recently aborted on a Sunday so she could beat the 20 week cutoff date. You argued that 2nd trimester abortions are rare- is 10 a week in my state alone rare enough for you?)
As for the younger babies, I have personally seen and measured embryonic heartbeats as early as 6.3 wks LMP (31 days after amphymixis) with this same ultrasound machine. We know that human hearts beat earlier than that, but that's the limit of our technology and skill at present. Very very few abortions are performed before a mother could at least witness her child's beating heart with her own eyes and ears.
You need to do some research and start being honest about the power of modern ultrasound technology. Just because the abortionists use old, fuzzy, crapped out machines to hide the truth from their patients, don't accuse us of exaggerating. I know it's hard to understand, but there is a massive chasm between the lies of the abortionists and the truth of modern science. I would never want to, nor need to lie- the truth speaks volumes all on it's own.Posted by: Michelle at July 20, 2010 11:11 AM
Ashley, if your aim is to help the cause of 'pro-choice' then you are failing because of your very bitter, willful ignornance. If your aim is to convince the pro-life readers that pro-choice people are scientific and reasonable, you fail. You have thoroughly convinced me that Planned Parenthood and all the other 'baybee' killers are failing their female clients big time. They offer no psychological care whatsover and simply try to convince women that they should only feel relief and any internal conflicts, hormonal shifts, depression, and more do not exist and are contructs of a pro-life conspiracy. Epic fail. Your clinic took your money, took your child's life, and left you to flounder in the world unassisted and uncared for. Epic, epic fail.Posted by: ninek at July 20, 2010 11:15 AM
"I will try very hard not to judge you for what you cannot yet do. And I can promise to never take your life because of what you cannot yet do."
Posted by: Praxedes at July 20, 2010 10:11 AM
That's an awesome statement, P.
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You know what? I have a hard time making out details on ultrasounds too! My brain just doesn't process a black and white picture of a baby which doesn't look exactly like a born baby as quickly as others' can. That doesn't mean those whose brains SEE details are lying. A color-blind person doesn't accuse the person who sees a beautiful red rose of lying about its color.
Also, I have seen women in their 7th and 8th month who are hardly showing. These women are usually on the tall side and the baby is lying vertically instead of horizontally in the womb. So it is entirely possible that a woman who is barely showing can have a baby kicking, etc...
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Michelle @ 3:47 AM.
Thank God the woman did not abort. I will pray that she continues to take care of herself and her baby in the womb! I just want to cry when I hear how close the baby was to being killed.
I will pray that you have an extraordinarily awesome day today.
For the better part of two decades, I was unable to educate myself about fetal development. It hit too close to home and I was afraid of my unresolved emotions. One of the things I've done is to research what was known about fetal development in the years that preceded my baby's death. I am in a better place emotionally now, but I felt thoroughly shocked, betrayed, and misled by my private ob/gyn who pushed me into the procedure (sending me the slaughterhouse) without even taking the time to examine and assess my pregnancy and developing child. For years I couldn't even pronounce her name because of my unresolved grief. Now you can find her on the internet, and see photos of her wearing her beautiful expensive clothes and her fancy jewelry and her books and TV appearances. I am prone to feeling quite bitter, so I know how post-abortive women feel first hand. Bitterness and resentment do not help. I can't help women in need if I am drowning in my own negative emotions. That's why groups like Silent No More and Rachel's Vineyard are so very important! There are so many women out there who need care, who need healing. I pray that all of us can find peace of mind so that we can rebuilt our culture for the better.Posted by: ninek at July 20, 2010 12:20 PM
Janet: tonight is Hell's Kitchen. It's impossible for it NOT to be an awesome day!Posted by: Nate Sheets at July 20, 2010 12:42 PM
I think you'll be surprised, Ashley, how much you can tell. True, I had no clue how they are able to tell the sex, but I guess you see enough of them you get really good at it. And the 4D ones are just AWESOME. When my kids came out, I could tell that they were the same ones whose 4D pictures I had seen.Posted by: Bobby Bambino at July 20, 2010 12:45 PM
I think one thing that Ashely is bringing up that should really be mentioned is the fact that really, it does not matter if teh zygote/embryo/fetus can roll around, wink, move his hands, rub his eyes, etc. None of those things which pro-lifers mention should make any difference to our case. Is one worthy of life because they are able to scratch their cheek? Is it that fact that you can play with your toes that gives you inherent dignity and moral worth? Of course not. We are against abortion because it is the unjust taking of an innocent human life. In that regard, an embryo has just as much moral worth as a fetus or newborn, regardless of how developed he is or how much he can do.
So I guess what i am saying is that it probably isn't the best argument to appeal to what the fetus is able to do or how far along in his biological development he is because it undermines the whole concept of what it means to be human. Certainly it can be helpful on an emotional level, but trying to appeal in general to the biological development of the fetus to argue against abortion is a bad idea in my opinion.Posted by: Bobby Bambino at July 20, 2010 12:54 PM
at a local 40 days for life, a prolifer that posts here (whether its Kelsey or Carla or Janet, for example) might be able to witness through prayer or just simple education to a young scared woman that's an "Ashley" but they might be able to offer her the support she needs to carry to term, whether its financial support or just being there (a ride to a doctor, taking her shopping, etc). What I love reading about is the mothers that come to the gathering that say "if it wasn't for you, my child wouldn't be here" and thank those who witnessed for life. I get the daily emails from 40DaysforLife when the time begins.
1. I can't make out much from ultrasound pictures--on the early ones I can't even tell the head from the body. I also feel fetal movement later than most. That DOES NOT change what the baby is.
2. Children usually don't smile for the first few weeks after birth, but have been observed smiling in the womb. My son smiled from the day he was born. A full social smile--it was not "just gas."Posted by: ycw at July 20, 2010 2:12 PM
ninek, thank you for your post. I'm remembering postabortive women in a special way in my prayers today. Peace :)Posted by: Fed Up at July 20, 2010 2:51 PM
Fed Up, thank you so much! I know it helps!Posted by: ninek at July 20, 2010 3:01 PM
Nate, but for the grace of God there would be no life. Where do you say creation came from? What "force" created the first hydrogen atom?Posted by: truthseeker at July 21, 2010 3:23 AM
Posted by: Bobby Bambino at July 20, 2010 12:54 PM
I agree with you. Defining a human being by what they can "do" at the end of their life is dangerous as well.
Posted by: Janet
at July 21, 2010 10:46 AM
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I love the cooking shows (because, unfortunately, I have so much to learn). I pray you have another awesome day!
ninek @ 12:20,
My prayers are with you. I will also be praying for a change of heart for abortion-workers around the world - that they may "see the light". God bless you and all women and men who were deceived by the abortion industry.
Cool video, let's hope it touches lives.Posted by: Bill at July 23, 2010 12:50 PM