Thousands of children are alive today in Britain thanks to prayer vigils outside abortion centres. Abortion numbers have dramatically declined where strong prayer vigils have been present. They have gone down by 17.5 per cent in Twickenham and 13 per cent in Ealing from 2015-2016, thanks to the wonderful witness of the Good Counsel Network daily outside these centres.

For nearly a decade I have supported and organised vigils outside abortion centres. I have visited 25 countries which participate in 40 Days for Life to pray and fast for an end to abortion. I have seen prayer spread across whole countries and individual lives transformed. In 10 years of ministry, 40 Days for Life has helped to save almost 14,000 lives from abortion.

Abby Johnson, a former abortion worker who left the industry and now helps others to do likewise, recalls that a speaker at a Planned Parenthood conference once said that the no-show rate at abortion centres when there is a prayer vigil outside can be as high as 75 per cent.

No wonder British abortion providers and their supporters are trying to bring in a “buffer-zone” law. Outside an abortion centre in Ealing in one week five women reportedly changed their minds and chose life for their baby scheduled for an abortion, and three in one day. One abortion employee remarked to one of our volunteers: “Your prayers are obviously working, because the girls aren’t keeping their appointments.” During a 40 Days for Life campaign in 2013 in Ealing, 23 women scheduled for an abortion changed their minds.

The reality of vigils is that prayer moves mountains. A peaceful, prayerful and legal vigil is a witness of hope for anyone considering an abortion and the first sign of mercy for anyone who has had one. The conscience of healthcare workers is profoundly affected by the vigils. Men and women share their abortion experiences in the street and others share their opinions profusely. Pavement counsellors outside some abortion centres offer other options, in a loving, caring and considerate manner, to those considering abortion.

I visited the former Planned Parenthood centre in Bryan, Texas, shortly after it was purchased by 40 Days for Life to be our international headquarters. You could tangibly feel there was something profoundly wrong in a building where more than 5,000 abortions had taken place. A hole in the wall was where aborted babies were transferred to the “products of conception” laboratory next door to check that all the pieces of the baby were present. A hook remained in the ceiling where a mobile once hung to distract women while they were having abortions.

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