Tuesday, April 7, 2009



That's the number of lives saved by the 40 days for life campaign that recently ended. David Bereit, who is basically in charge of this movement that has taken shape in just the past couple of years, always puts a tally of just how many babies are saved from abortion thanks to the 40 days effort.

Why do I think that number is so important? Because it's real, tangible evidence of people making a difference. I love that Bereit always wants us to know the number. It shows that his number one concern is that lives are actually saved.

If the pro-life movement were about anything other than saving actual lives, these numbers wouldn't really matter to the people involved. Especially not when they hardly make a dent in the total number of abortions that occur each year.

To put a bit of perspective on it, in 2005 about 1.2 million abortions were performed. On average, that's over 3,000 abortions every day.

So why is 40 days for life rejoicing that after four different campaigns, only about 1,500 (including the numbers from this last campaign) abortions have been prevented? That's only about half of the number that happen every day, on average.

The only possible reason to get excited is that every life is actually worth something. Each of these 421 children matters. Although I understand the complexities of the abortion debate, it does somewhat confound me that in our country this idea needs defending.

I have been personally involved in 40 days for life, and I think it represents numerous possibilities for the future. Groups who gather together to pray in front of abortion clinics are composed of people who are equally willing to support women during and after pregnancy. The pro-life movement has slowly but steadily begun to integrate its message against abortion with a network of organizations equipped with real alternatives, such as pregnancy care centers and post abortion healing. People who pray can also give practical help to women, whether financially or emotionally.

What's secretly happening is that a progressive society is being formed at the center of what has been historically branded a conservative movement. A powerful alternative to the status quo is emerging out of the scattered efforts of people who just can't stand to think of children dying. This counterculture doesn't live according to old American rules of individualism. Its members go out of their way to save even the smallest human being, not primarily through law-making but through love: one person stands on the sidewalk and offers brochures, a group of people sit quietly praying, a group of volunteers offer free services at a pregnancy care center, a counselor provides post-abortion healing services, and others soon get involved one way or another as all of these start working together to make sure the needs of women are met--all of this because abortion just seemed so wrong.

The only problem is that the members of this society are not all used to this sort of lifestyle. Most of the pro-life movement is still about trying to persuade and change laws. But where the future of the movement really lies is in allowing this progressive society to fully take shape. That is the only way a pro-life nation would ever be sustainable; without a community that habitually cares for the needs of the helpless, abortion will always be seen as a necessary evil.

Four hundred twenty-one children, who are now safe from abortion, are living testimony to the fact that such a community can exist.


  1. Thanks for sharing this. Did you take part in the mailing of red envelopes last week? I wondered if the news was going to mention it and if all the people who pledged really sent their in.

    Praise God for those 421 lives.

  2. I didn't personally take part in the red envelope campaign, but I heard the White House received millions of envelopes. I haven't seen much in the mainstream media... have you?

    Thanks for posting.


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