Pope Francis has expressed support for the UK pro-life group 40 Days for Life, which organises peaceful prayer vigils outside abortion clinics and conducts community outreach campaigns to raise awareness about the pro-life position.
According to LifeSiteNews, in a letter sent throught the Vatican Secretariat of State, the Pope said he “greatly appreciates the dedicated work” that 40 Days for Life do “to promote respect for the lives of all unborn children”.
Robert Colquhoun, the director of 40 Days For Life London, welcomed the letter, which follows criticism of 40 Days for Life by abortion providers.
Colquhoun said the demonstration of support was especially welcome since “some of our volunteers have been persecuted through their peaceful, faithful witness.” 40 Days for Life holds two campaigns a year in the UK, has annoyed abortion providers after members of 40 Days for Life started praying outside their facilities
British Pregnancy Advisory Service, one of Britain’s busiest abortion providers, has been especially vocal, accusing pro-life advocates of “interfering” with the “rights of women” who, they maintain, have already made up their minds about abortion.
But Calquhoun said that the organisation was a successful example of the way that “individual Christians can play a leading role in building a culture of life in their local communities, through proven systems that can save lives from abortion.”
He told LifeSiteNews that 40 Days’ most recent campaigns saw a total of 100,000 participants from 3,600 churches, both Catholic and non-Catholic, in 253 locations in 10 countries. The group says that hundreds of babies were saved after their mothers decided against abortion upon talking with the participants.
In the period of the campaign, he added, 13 abortion facility workers quit their jobs and eight facilities in the United States were closed.