"We were recently featured on the BBC radio and TV news," said Isabel, the 40 Days for Life coordinator in Birmingham. And it wasn't all that good.

The national network reported on a "study" -- heavily influenced by the abortion industry -- that claimed even a peaceful pro-life presence outside abortion facilities had a negative impact on those businesses' clients.

The report, as expected, was rather biased. The BBC refused to interview women who had used abortion facilities who had anything positive to say about pro-lifers. The explanation was that such information was "irrelevant" to their story.

However, a Birmingham man was so upset by the BBC's biased coverage that he decided to visit to the 40 Days for Life vigil outside Marie Stopes in Birmingham.

He approached two young women who were about to enter. As one told him how she had had an abortion, the other went sobbing up the drive and entered the building. When he asked the woman where her friend had gone, she responded, "to have an abortion."

The man asked the woman to tell her friend to come back out, so she too went inside.

He appeared distraught, but he began to pray. He later told Isabel his prayer was said in true anguish. He continued to pray, but after a time he found it difficult to continue because he was overcome with sadness.

About this time, the two women both walked out of Marie Stopes. The one who had been crying before was now wearing a huge smile.

She told him she'd received a leaflet when she was there for a previous appointment, and felt a bit conflicted about the abortion after that. Still, she returned that day for her abortion ... but while she was inside, she decided that she would be keeping her baby.

"Praise God," Isabel said, "as we remember how important it is to pray and witness no matter what the media may say. That's our sixth save this campaign that we know of!"


There are highs and lows associated with every 40 Days for Life campaign. But the blessings seem to always outweigh the challenges.

"I had a strange evening praying outside the abortion centre in Birmingham," Isabel recalled. "I was called some unrepeatable things. Next, someone kicked our posters down the road, then a woman took my photo saying, 'I'm going to put this on Facebook and Jesus is going to be so embarrassed!'"

But then she received a phone call from one of the volunteers who'd been there earlier in the day. "She told me another woman had changed her mind about abortion."

This woman had come out of Marie Stopes and told the prayer volunteer that she had been about to sign the consent form and remembered how a previous abortion had tortured her.

"She said she felt her 14-week baby kicking her on the way in and thought it was telling her something. So she just couldn't go through it again," Isabel said. "Praise God!"


At the conclusion of the campaign, the volunteers received a note from Archbishop Bernard Longley, who has taken part in the vigil on a number of occasions.

"I remembered the campaign in my prayers as you were beginning," he said, "and I will offer a prayer of thanksgiving, especially for those who have been helped through the prayerful presence of our Christian witnesses."

Archbishop Longley asked the team leaders to "please pass on my word of appreciation to those who have supported the recent campaign and be assured of my prayers and every kind wish."



With 40 Days for Life, David wears many hats. Prior to joining the 40 Days for Life team, he was an award-winning radio and TV journalist. He has also served as a board member for a pregnancy help center and as publications director for a major national pro-life organization.