Abortion: Prayer can save lives
BY BR. BILL SPOND, OFM
In June of 2018 our New Notes of St. John the Baptist Province reported that the issue of Right-to-Life/Abortion garnered 25 responses (out of 57) from friars who completed a survey on the justice and peace issues they cared about the most.
I believe that life is precious. Interest in this issue has for me developed gradually, probably starting as far back as 1980. I remember my first year at St. Bonaventure in Cincinnati a young girl called up and told a lady there that she wanted a religious to go with her to a clinic. I know that from the 1980s to the early ‘90s, our parishes did not have pro-life groups. But I do remember that in 1983, on the 10-year anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, one of the parishes had an anti-abortion program.
Abortion rates in the U.S. are at their lowest level in 10 years, according to CNN, which last November reported numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From 2006 to 2015, abortions declined from 842,855 to 638,169. Pro-choice supporters claim that better contraceptive use and limited access and availability are the major reasons for the decline.
Those groups seem to overlook the workings of prayer as a possible reason for the drop in abortions. For a while now I have been praying in the public eye at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Cincinnati, though only one morning a week. Other individuals from groups such as 40 Days for Life are doing the same.
From observation, I estimate there might be 15-20 abortions performed there per week. Another lady who comes there says there are surely more. But we think the prayers are making a difference. We can see that movement is slow, some lives are changed, and more babies stay alive until birth. That is what the people who pray are hoping for.
40 Days for Life is an international, religious-based pro-life group that campaigns against abortion in over 20 nations worldwide. They seek to draw attention to the issue through prayer and fasting, constant vigil and community outreach. As their website says, “It takes a determined, peaceful approach to showing local communities the consequences of abortion in their own neighborhoods, for their own friends and families.” You can learn more at: https://40daysforlife.com/. A short video on their Home page explains how prayer and fasting can make a difference in your own town.
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