March 11March 11 Editorial: Despite success of 40 Days for Life campaign, fight protecting the unborn is far from over (April 12, 2024)

April 12, 2024


Despite success of 40 Days for Life campaign, fight protecting the unborn is far from over

There is a report of a woman on an operating table at the last minute deciding she didn’t want to go through with an abortion. And of a mother who took an abortion pill, then 30 minutes later realized she wanted to give birth to her child and took abortion pill reversal medication. Thankfully, mother and baby in both those cases—and in several other instances reported in recent weeks—continued the pregnancies, and God willing, will be examples of how 40 Days for Life campaigns bear fruit.

For those needing a refresher, 40 Days for Life is an international, multi-faith effort that seeks to end abortion through peaceful prayer vigils outside abortion centers, and to raise community awareness of the consequences of abortion. Two campaigns occur each year—one in the spring, the other in the fall. In the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, campaigns are held outside Planned Parenthood facilities in Bloomington and Indianapolis.

The 2024 international spring campaign, which began on Feb. 14 and ended on March 24, offered more proof that sidewalk counselors and prayer warriors outside abortion centers make a difference when it comes to protecting unborn children. We thank God for their presence. And we believe the prayers many of you offered during the campaign bore fruit as well.

As reported on the 40 Days for Life website, since Feb. 14, 266 lives were saved during the recent campaign. To take it a step further, since 40 Days for Life campaigns began in 2007, 24,242 children have been saved, 148 abortion centers have been closed, and 256 abortion workers have quit their jobs.

Those statistics offer proof that when it comes to the unborn, our prayers and public witness plant seeds of faith and do convert hardened and uninformed hearts.

Despite the success of pro-life initiatives, many in society are working to make abortion more accessible wherever possible.

As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision overturning the court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision—which had legalized abortion on demand in the U.S.—abortion regulation was returned to each state. While the court in Dobbs emphasized that there is no federal constitutional right to abortion in the U.S., multiple states will have measures to expand access to abortion on their ballots in November.

The Florida Supreme Court on April 1 simultaneously ruled that the state’s constitution does not protect abortion access and allowed a proposed amendment seeking to do so to qualify for the state’s November ballot.

Kelsey Pritchard, state public affairs director for Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, told OSV News that while her group celebrates that the Florida Supreme Court upheld abortion restrictions in that state, “at the same time, we recognize that Florida is in real jeopardy of losing those protections through the ballot measure that they also upheld and said would be on the ballot in November.”

As reported in OSV News, Maryland and New York also will have efforts to enshrine abortion protections in their state constitutions on the ballot, while efforts for similar amendments to qualify for the ballot are still underway in several states, including Arizona and Montana.

Sadly, Ohio voters last November approved a measure to codify abortion access in the state’s constitution, legalizing abortion up to the point of fetal viability—the gestational point at which a baby may be capable of living outside the uterus—and beyond, if a physician decided an abortion was necessary for the sake of the mother’s life or health. The Ohio result followed losses for the pro-life movement when voters in California, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, Vermont and Kansas either rejected new limitations on abortion or expanded legal protections for it.

Given these trends in other states, this is no time for pro-life Hoosiers to rest on their laurels. Although most unborn children in Indiana are now legally protected, pro-life advocacy needs to continue in the state to keep the cause for abortion rights at bay and, ultimately, to make abortion unthinkable in our society.

Pritchard said that opponents of efforts to enshrine abortion protections in state constitutions need “to expose that the abortion industry is lying in their ads when they say that, if you don’t pass this constitutional amendment women are going to die in your state.

“That’s a complete lie, because it’s just an obvious truth that every state has a life of the mother provision,” she said.

When it comes to expectant mothers, the Church in the U.S.—including in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis—also has a Walking with Moms program. “… It is the call of every Catholic now more than ever to help women in crisis pregnancies choose life for their children, to assist moms in need and to support the ministries, organizations and agencies that provide services for these women.” Its website is

Although some in the secular media and in other circles won’t share it, there are alternatives to abortion. And, please God, may more and more people use these resources that can be lifesaving—for unborn children, mothers and their families.

—Mike Krokos

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