The following is from Rachel Hayes, 40 Days for Life Coordinator for West Chester, Pennsylvania. Rachel has some helpful suggestions which we have posted below. Although they pertain to Pennsylvania, and particularly to Chester County, Pennsylvania, others may benefit from her insights.
Thank you for your devotion to prayer, fasting, and peaceful vigil over the course of this largest ever spring 40 Days for Life campaign. In spite of the suspension of the public vigil worldwide, we can rejoice for the moms who were encouraged and empowered to choose Life, and for the 346 babies that were saved! I am grateful for each of you, and God’s answers to our many prayers.
I would be ecstatic if West Chester Planned Parenthood closes, and we never need another prayer campaign outside that facility. May it be so! However, even if this does occur, our prayers, giving, and engagement with our culture must remain a priority to truly shift us from a culture of death to a culture of Life where abortion is made both unavailable and unthinkable. Though 40 Days for Life is an essential outreach for bringing an end to abortion where we live, the battle for the lives of innocent pre-born children takes place 365 days a year. What can you be doing now?
PRAYER: As always, continue to offer up prayers for all the initiatives going on across our country and local communities that engage the culture of death with truth and grace. Pray for the effectiveness of the frontline work of sidewalk advocacy and pregnancy centers that more women would be reached with life-affirming parenting choices, and that more children will be spared. Pray and ask the Lord to help you live in a way that promotes Life, and ask what he may be calling you to do.
GIVING: Are we serious about ending abortion in the U.S.? To a large extent, if our collective giving is any indication of how seriously we take this issue, the answer is no. Of 400 billion dollars annually given away in the U.S., only .2% of that money goes to all pro-life causes combined. Consider how you can support a local pregnancy center with your time, talent, and financial resources. The nearest pregnancy medical center to WC PP is Chester County Women Services
ENGAGEMENT: There are many efforts across our nation engaging in the public square. Consider upping your game: Do you know what’s going on at the governmental level in PA? Is your calendar marked for National and State marches for Life. Do you know where to go for pro-life training, educational, and news resources? Consider following Chester County Pro-Life Coalition and the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia on Facebook for keeping up to date on public witness opportunities and events once we are through the Covid-19 health crisis.
For your planning ahead, the fall 40 Days for Life campaign is Wednesday, September 23 – Sunday, November 1. Follow us @chesco40days.
Lastly, if you feel called to public witness year round outside of WC PP during their abortion focused operating hours on Thursdays and Fridays, let me know. 40 Days for Life will be launching a 365-40 Days in the future, and I would like to know who has interest in this initiative.
Thank you again for being a part of the beginning of the end of abortion in West Chester.
As we approach Resurrection Sunday, let us reflect on the wonder of the Author of Life choosing to begin his earthly journey in the humblest and most vulnerable state as an innocent, dependent child in the womb of his blessed mother. In Christ Jesus we rejoice in the wonder of life, and in the gift of eternal life to come. Health, safety, and a blessed Holy Week to you and yours!