Three events highlight efforts in continuing abortion protest

Three events – including the annual 40 Days for Life – will highlight in coming weeks the peaceful protest against abortion.

Each is sponsored locally by Omaha-based Nebraskans United for Life, and they begin with a 10 a.m. prayer service Sept. 10 at St. Mary Magdalene Cemetery in Omaha.

Marking the third annual National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children, the service at the cemetery’s Rachel Mourning Statue for the Unborn will be led by Deacon Al Aulner of Holy Family Parish in Omaha. It will be held in memory of the nearly 59 million babies who have been aborted in the United States in the last 43 years. Similar prayer services will be held simultaneously around the country.

People also are invited to participate in 40 Days for Life, an international prayer movement focused on ending abortion that runs Sept. 28 through Nov. 6.

A major event that will help kick off the 40 Days campaign in the archdiocese is the national Life Chain Sunday, Oct. 2. Groups in the archdiocese and around the country will line streets in their communities to witness and pray for an end to abortion. Many will begin at 2 p.m., including a gathering at Dodge and 72nd streets in Omaha.

The 40 Days effort will continue with individuals and groups encouraged to pray in shifts 24 hours a day at abortion clinics in the archdiocese: Planned Parenthood in Omaha and the Abortion and Contraception Clinic of Nebraska in Bellevue. People may sign up by calling Nebraskans United for Life at 402-399-0299 or going to the website and following the prompts.

"Our presence and prayer are effective," said Ann Marie Bowen, president of Nebraskans United for Life.

Bowen said her organization often gets feedback that the first time a person prayed in front of an abortion facility or took part in a prayer vigil was during a 40 Days for Life campaign, she said.

"In turn, those participants encourage others to join them in prayer and the numbers of prayers multiplies," Bowen said. "These events, which bring the people of God together to pray that his will be done in ending abortion and bringing healing to the victims, also serve to inspire and encourage others to participate, whether by witnessing, praying, or serving as sidewalk counselors."

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