Since 2004, 40 Days for Life has held peaceful prayer vigils outside abortion facilities around the world to lovingly champion the rights of the unborn. Our volunteers have been attacked on numerous occasions by abortion-rights activists. Historically, when these incidents occur, we have been proud to work with local law enforcement. However, during a recent vigil in Walnut Creek, California, where protesters were very vicious toward our volunteers, law enforcement refused to help, forcing us to hire private security through Off Duty Officers in order to protect our volunteers and practice our first amendment rights.

Off Duty Officers, a private security company, was hired by 40 Days for Life as a third-party contractor to make judgments about how to handle protestors. 

When activists using Antifa-style tactics members (who previously physically threatened and blew marijuana in our volunteers’ faces) arrived and antagonized the Off Duty Officers, the professional guards took protective action, including using mace against the hostile individuals. 

Contrary to a video that captured parts of the occurrence and has since been widely circulated on social media, 40 Days for Life volunteers had no part in the incident. Rather, the tactics were used solely at the discretion of the third-party security team. 

Historically, 40 Days for Life has been the target of many physical and verbal attacks. Just last year during our spring campaign, an 85-year-old volunteer was deliberately knocked down by a young man who had just stolen our volunteer’s sign. The young man proceeded to kick our elderly volunteer while he was laying on the ground. Beyond that, our volunteers have been subject to all kinds of assaults, including having urine thrown at them and being coughed on at the start of our spring campaign when COVID‒19 was first sweeping the nation. These are just a few of the attacks on our volunteers that led us to hire security guards. 

To watch video of the aggressive Antifa protestors or to interview Shawn Carney, contact Kristin Nill at

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Shawn Carney, President/CEO

In addition to co-founding 40 Days for Life, Shawn is one of the most sought-after pro-life speakers, addressing audiences coast-to-coast and internationally. He has executive produced award-winning pro-life documentaries. Shawn co-authored the #1 top-rated Christian book: 40 Days for Life: Discover What God Has Done ... Imagine What He Can Do and also wrote The Beginning of the End of Abortion.