Abortion advocates don't want vulnerable women to have a real choice.
That's why abortion-friendly governments around the world have enacted "buffer zones" to ban pro-life speech near abortion facilities.
The 40 Days for Life vigil in Frankfurt, Germany has been tremendously successful amidst difficult circumstances--including persecution from protesters, Satanists, and most recently, the city imposing a 150-meter buffer zone.
But last week, a German court struck down Frankfurt's buffer zone ordinance, which required 40 Days for Life participants to keep their witness at least 150 meters away from the abortion facility.
Former Frankfurt campaign leader and current 40 Days for Life Executive Director of International Affairs Tomislav Čunović is an attorney. He sued the city and delivered a big win for free speech, pro-lifers, and unborn babies.
"The buffer zone in Frankfurt is illegal!" announced Tomislav. "Frankfurt 40 Days for Life vigil participants are allowed to pray, sing, and display pro-life signs in front of the Pro Familia abortion facility."
40 Days for Life had won a lawsuit opposing Frankfurt's buffer zone back in December, but the city ignored the ruling and instituted a second buffer zone. 40 Days for Life challenged that new buffer zone in court as well.
In an extraordinary and surprising move, the court held the trial at the vigil site to observe the location firsthand. An all-woman panel of judges then struck down the buffer zone again, and Frankfurt is buffer-zone-free.
"The abortion industry is very concerned because we have now filed lawsuits in two cities and are not giving in," Tomislav said. "They fear 40 Days for Life and follow what we do very closely."
While legal developments in Germany have been positive, the free speech rights of pro-lifers remain under attack worldwide.
40 Days for Life efforts in Spain have grown dramatically in recent years--and the pro-abortion government is taking notice.
The country's Congress of Deputies approved legislation that could put pro-lifers who pray or sidewalk counsel in front of an abortion facility in prison for up to a year! The bill now heads to the Spanish Senate.
Vigil participants in Madrid recently offered support to a woman on her way to an abortion appointment. Thanks to the help from the 40 Days for Life sidewalk counselors, the young woman visited a pregnancy help center and chose life.
She and her baby are alive and well, but if pro-abortion lawmakers have their way, this sort of happy ending to a crisis situation will become illegal.
New laws in the "Land Down Under" prohibit pro-lifers from praying or offering abortion alternatives in front of the country's abortion facilities. In other words, the pro-choice lobby has made it illegal to offer women a choice.
But Australian 40 Days for Life participants aren't giving up. They've moved their vigil to Parliament House.
"We have been allocated an ‘out-of-the-way’ area of Parliament House by the security people, but we are not complaining," said Steve, the longtime Perth leader. "We still have the opportunity to display our banners and to pray. And the politicians are noticing us, even if they quicken their step when going past us."
New Zealand's Parliament passed legislation on Wednesday that paves the way for 150-meter "safe zones" where pro-life speech is illegal.
Massive majorities of all five parties represented in Parliament voted for the free speech crackdown.
The Auckland 40 Days for Life leaders are investigating how to most effectively continue their vigil and outreach under the new law.
"We are absolutely committed to keeping on keeping on!" proclaimed Simon, the Auckland leader. "It is not all doom and gloom."
I believe I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the LORD!
— Psalm 27:13-14
Good and loving Father, keep us stouthearted in Your Word of Truth, placing all our faith and Hope in You. Give us the patience to wait for Your providential care. As we repent of our own sins, give us the courage to speak the truth in love and to be ready to forgive those who offend us. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.