The effort to protect the sanctity of human life is advancing on many fronts. In 2013, 4,648 fewer abortions were performed in Florida than the previous year. And across the nation, 87 abortion centers were closed last year. The national statistics reflect this—the abortion rate in the U.S. has fallen to its lowest since 1973.
Yet, in Florida, the abortion rate is still higher than the national average and, together, Broward and Miami-Dade counties account for more than 25 percent of all Florida abortions. Last year in Broward County, one out of every four babies conceived was aborted.
Statistics like these show the need to shine the light of God’s truth, love, and mercy on the dark places where abortionists operate. That is just what the ministry of 40 Days for Life will be doing in 248 cities around the U.S., starting on March 5, 2014, as part of a worldwide effort to end abortion. Fort Lauderdale joined this effort in 2012 and launched its fourth campaign this spring. Other Florida cities participating are Jacksonville, Lakeland, Naples, Orlando, Pensacola, Port Charlotte, and Tallahassee.
40 Days for Life enlists volunteers to join in prayer and peaceful vigils in front of abortion centers in their local communities. Fort Lauderdale’s prayer vigil is being held in front of the Fort Lauderdale Women’s Center at 2001 W Oakland Park Blvd. Volunteers of 40 Days will be standing and praying in front of this center, where abortions are performed up to 24 weeks of gestation.
As a result of these prayer vigils, babies’ lives are being saved and, in Fort Lauderdale, women are being directed to Hope Women’s Centers and Respect Life locations where they can receive help for an unplanned pregnancy.
According to Tewannah Aman, local Outreach Coordinator for 40 Days for Life, stories are coming in from women who have decided not to have an abortion. Tewannah believes there are other instances she never hears about, but every story reported is received with praise to God and thanks for the life of the baby. One vigil volunteer sent her a text message with the following information:
Hello Tewannah, I had such a great experience today at the clinic. A young mother took the time to stop her car and she told me how grateful she is 4 all who take the time to hold a sign and those who pray to end abortion. She then, with tears in her eyes, introduced me to a beautiful and smiley little girl sitting in the back. I was able to interact with both and she then shared with me that she had gone twice to the clinic, thinking about aborting her, but that both times the signs spoke to her. Her little girl’s name is Lily. GLORY TO GOD! We hugged and we both cried rejoicing in the goodness of the Lord
Volunteer Anthony Staiano recounts that a woman came up to him while he was standing in the rain in front of an abortion center holding his sign, “Adoption, the better option.” She asked him, “Do you think there is ever any kind of a medical or situational reason that would make it okay with God to have an abortion?”
The woman had been told by abortion center staff that she should have an abortion because her heart rate was slower than normal. They told her that her pregnancy would make it worse and she could possibly die.
So Anthony told her his story. When his mother went into labor, he was in a breach position, which threatened the life of his mother. The doctors had to do an emergency C-section to save his mother’s life and his.
Anthony, now 67, thanks God that doctors were able to save his life, not end it, when his mother’s life was in danger. And he encouraged the woman over a cup of coffee to seek a second opinion on her condition. “God loves you and your child,” he told her.
It is stories such as these that are inspiring people from every church and demographic background to come and stand and pray outside abortion centers around the country and the world. Peter Tucker of Harbor Church, co- Prayer Coordinator for the Fort Lauderdale campaign, said that after he became a Christian at age 18, he prayed that God would “un-desensitize” his heart to the suffering around him. Now he is joining the effort to show God’s mercy to the innocent who are “being led to the slaughter” (Proverbs 21:13), and to the women who are “in urgent need” (Titus 3:14) as they face the crisis of an unplanned pregnancy.
For more information on Fort Lauderdale’s 40 Days for Life campaign, contact Tewannah Aman at 754-244-4135 or email her at [email protected].