40 Days for Life – and the Election

At 316 locations across the United States, spanning 49 states and D.C., Catholics mobilized yesterday for life.

Called 40 Days for Life the project asks Catholics to take hour shifts to pray in front of abortion outlets. It started yesterday and will end shortly before the election on November 4.

Since Catholics are a very important and decisive part of the electorate, bishops are hoping this will draw attention to the threat to freedom of religion posed by reelection of Obama as well as praying for an end to abortion.

In Memphis this is taking place in front of Planned Parenthood on Poplar. It is within walking distance of my parish and I signed up to participate.

I got there in the morning and took my place with two other women. We held signs, said the rosary, said other prayers and talked.

I was happily surprised to see that I was not alone and that our replacements came promptly. Throughout the hour honks of agreement interrupted Hail Marys and Our Fathers. We discussed the coming election and the Affordable Care Act.

One woman told how her sister and brother-in-law had a business in Florida that employs 220 people. After a portion of Obamacare kicked in this summer, they found themselves having to pay for contraceptives and one woman’s abortion. They have since filed suit objecting to this practice. But, inevitably, if Obamacare is not defeated in this election, the couple has decided to shutter their business.

Many others will do this and I hope, the Catholic Church in America will refuse to allow their hospitals, schools and institutions to participate in this atrocity. They have a year’s extension until they face this dilemma. This is a red line in the sand, so to speak, and not just for Catholics. All Christians and Jews will be coerced into doing things contrary to their beliefs if Obama gets a second term.

Some clergy are hesitant to speak out, we agreed. We hope the bishops will take a more visible role in leading the faithful.

Until then and even after the faithful will continue to pray. Never underestimate the power of those praying for this election.

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