|Teaching Pastor Clay Harlin of New Hope Community Church in Brentwood, speaks at a kick-off for the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil, which will continue through Sunday, Nov. 2. A kickoff Mass and rally were held on Tuesday, Sept. 23, at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville. Photos by Andy Telli|
The 40 Days for Life prayer vigil kicked off on Sept. 24 and will continue through Sunday, Nov. 2.
Participants are needed to pray every day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the sidewalks outside Planned Parenthood, 412 D.B. Todd Blvd. in Nashville.
Bishop David Choby has endorsed the campaign, which got a boost for its start with a Mass and a rally on Tuesday, Sept. 23, at the Cathedral of the Incarnation. After the Mass, celebrated by Father John Sims Baker, participants were invited to a rally in the Cathedral’s Fleming Center, which featured music by the group Pelican 212, and a message of life.
When Teaching Pastor Clay Harlin of New Hope Community Church in Brentwood participated in 40 Days for Life last year for the first time, “I was just horrified,” he said. “Horrified there were so many license plates from so many states,” and also that the Women’s Center abortion clinic where the vigil was held last year, is an unlicensed clinic.”
On the ballot for the Nov. 4 election is Amendment 1, which would amend the Tennessee Constitution to give the State Legislature the authority to regulate the abortion industry to protect women, an authority that was struck down by a state Supreme Court decision in 2000. The ruling went further than the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade in limiting a state’s ability to regulate the abortion industry. “Even if we pass Amendment 1, that just gets us up to Roe v. Wade standards,” said Harlin, who was a speaker at the kickoff rally.
“I don’t think people understand how many people are dying today in our own back yard,” Harlin said. “I think it’s the number one political issue facing our country.”
|Above is a poster board displaying the 40 Days for Life message, which aims to bring an end to legalized abortion.|
For more information on the local 40 Days for Life campaign and to volunteer to participate in the prayer vigil, visit: 40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/nashville.
Forty Days for Life is an international community-based campaign “that takes a determined, peaceful approach to showing local communities the consequences of abortion in their own neighborhoods, for their own friends and families,” according to the website. “It puts into action a desire to cooperate with God in the carrying out of His plan for the end of abortion. It draws attention to the evil of abortion through the use of a three-point program: prayer and fasting; constant vigil; community outreach.”
The centerpiece of any 40 Days for Life campaign is the non-stop prayer vigil outside an abortion clinic. “It is a peaceful and educational presence,” according to the 40 Days for Life website. “Those who are called to stand witness during this (vigil) send a powerful message to the community about the tragic reality of abortion. It also serves as a call to repentance for those who work at the abortion center and those who patronize the facility.”
Since the first coordinated 40 Days for Life campaign took place in 2007, 625,000 individuals and 17,000 churches have participated in 3,039 campaigns in 539 cities. During that time, nearly 9,000 lives have been saved from abortion, 101 abortion workers have quit and 54 abortion facilities have closed, according to the website.
In Nashville, regular 40 Days for Life campaigns have been held for the last eight years. More volunteers are needed to agree to stand outside Planned Parenthood praying as a witness to the community. In the past, the campaign has been held outside the Women’s Center abortion clinic on Welshwood Drive in Nashville. But because of restrictions on where vigil participants can stand, the campaign has been moved this year to the Planned Parenthood clinic.
For more information about the campaign or volunteer to participate, visit the Nashville campaign’s website or contact Marilyn Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org.