40 Days for Life in New Hampshire

For information on the international 40 Days for Life project, see 40daysforlife.com.

 

40DFL outside the Lovering Center in Greenland, New Hampshire. Photo by Don Mudge.
40DFL outside the Lovering Center in Greenland, New Hampshire. Photos by Don Mudge.

 

Abby Johnson comes to Dartmouth

Her ministry to abortion workers who want to leave the industry has been busy since the day she set it up. “Our biggest group that we utilize [to reach abortion facility workers] is 40 Days for Life.” Abby Johnson’s clinic, back when she was a PP worker, was one of the first places that 40 Days for Life ever covered – and the participants didn’t stick to forty days. They kept coming back, and they slowly built a relationship with Abby, even though she says that sometimes “I thought of turning the sprinklers on them.” She says the pro-life witnesses outside her clinic never called her names, but worked on forming a “genuine relationship” with her, “without persecution and without condemnation. That’s what heals hearts.” Read more…

Musings from the sidewalk

I made a commitment recently to give an hour to 40DFL for each new “like” on the [blog’s] Facebook page. Five or six, I figured. Nope: try nineteen…. I had only six days before the end of the campaign. Abby Johnson’s talk about priorities and comfort zones was still ringing in my ears. I put my name down on the vigil schedule where I could.

Some of you may be thinking what’s the big deal? Being out there on the sidewalk outside the abortion facility comes as naturally as breathing to some people. Not to me. My views of sidewalk witness have changed quite a bit over the past thirty years. I am not courting arrest. I am not trying to spit in the eye of the neighbors or the clients or the workers or even the abortionists. I simply want to witness for life without anyone getting mad at me. And I don’t want to be out there alone….

Here’s what I saw as a very inexperienced 40DFL supporter last week. Maybe it’ll give you some encouragement to join me in the fall. Read more… 

Affirming nonviolence 

There are no doubt those who will take umbrage at any suggestion that today’s pro-life movement is part of the civil rights movement that came to flower at that March on Washington in ’63. In reply, I can only avow that life is the fundamental civil and human right. Abortion takes lives, and there are businesses that profit from it. Let peaceful public witness to that continue. Read more…

“My heart is with the woman who has had an abortion.”

CareNet volunteer Karen Colageo was the featured speaker at the closing gathering for Manchester, New Hampshire’s 40 Days for Life winter campaign. She’s been a post-abortion counselor for more than a decade. “I’m here to speak about abortions, not ‘abortion.’ Specific events. Private, emotionally wrenching experiences. The stories you need to hear are the individual testimonies.” The abortions she experienced herself were an important factor in her eventual work. “My heart is with the woman who has had an abortion.” Read more…

“This is where the action is taking place.”

Steve Karlen got off a plane in New Hampshire Tuesday afternoon and was on Pennacook Street in Manchester by 1:30….That’s what it’s like to be North American outreach director for 40 Days for Life….He enjoys his field work. As he told participants outside Manchester’s PP facility today, “This is where the action is taking place. You may be the only thing standing between Planned Parenthood and a post-abortive woman, or between Planned Parenthood and children who are particularly vulnerable to abortion.” He’s aware that the 40-day twice-a-year campaigns can be challenging; his own involvement with 40DFL dates back to the second-ever campaign in the spring of 2008. “Zeal may be giving way to exhaustion. Stand strong; you are the light of Christ here.” Read more…

“Great things are happening…we have much to celebrate”

There’s no “typical” pro-lifer anymore, if such a person ever existed. Kids, college students, young professionals, Women of a Certain Age such as yours truly, people well into retirement: all were there last night. 40DFL is an explicitly faith-based initiative, so secular pro-lifers were probably underrepresented. We had an impressive blend of people nonetheless. It’s worth noting that I met a lot of new people last evening. I’ve been involved in pro-life work in New Hampshire for the better part of three decades, and I’ve met more new activists in the past three years than in all the preceding years combined….[40DFL speaker Paul] Swope says that through 40DFL, “We know that great things are happening, and it’s the Lord’s work. There’s a lot to be thankful for. We have much to celebrate.” Read more…