The president of an international pro-life advocacy group will visit Santa Teresa at 7 p.m., Feb. 28, at 5290 McNutt Road and will speak to the significance of the recent closure of Las Cruces’ abortion facility in the public right-of-way near Santa Teresa’s Women’s Reproductive Clinic, which offers abortion services.
Shawn Carney, president of the international 40 Days for Life project, will speak at a rally to start the next series of prayer vigils, which the local Las Cruces Coalition for Life held along the sidewalk beside Las Cruces’ former abortion clinic, Whole Woman’s Health, and which, it believes, was instrumental in the clinic’s closure.
“People in Las Cruces made extraordinary sacrifices to expose the abortion industry and to protect pre-born children and their mothers from the violence of abortion,” Carney said. “I’m honored to be able to join these folks in prayer as they team up with their neighbors in Santa Teresa to pray for all of southern New Mexico to become abortion-free. Their dedication illustrates why we’re seeing historic changes – more mothers choosing life, more abortion workers experiencing conversions and leaving the abortion industry, and more abortion centers closing their doors for good.”
Santa Teresa is one of 340 communities around the world conducting simultaneous 40 Days for Life campaigns beginning the following morning March 1, which is Ash Wednesday, through the season of Lent until Palm Sunday on April 9.
“We are tremendously pleased that Shawn will be here to support our next 40 Days for Life vigil,” said Mark Cavaliere, director of the Las Cruces coalition. “He’s an energetic, enthusiastic speaker and we know he will be an inspiration.”
Father Enrique Lopez, pastor of Santa Teresa’s new St. John Paul II parish, which is currently located directly behind the abortion facility, will also speak at the rally, as will Las Cruces resident Kimberly Shipton, a member of the coalition who reluctantly had an abortion 20 years ago. She currently operates a post-abortion healing ministry called Rachel’s Vineyard.
“This kickoff will mark the start of 40 days of prayer and fasting, as well as various types of community outreach,” said Cavaliere. “We saw how God responded in Las Cruces and we now look forward to seeing what kind of transformation God will bring about in Santa Teresa.”
40 Days for Life is an intensive campaign that focuses on 40 days of peaceful vigil at abortion facilities, and grassroots educational outreach. Since 40 Days for Life began, 12,668 mothers have chosen life for their children; 143 abortion workers have left the abortion industry; and 83 abortion centers where 40 Days for Life vigils have been held have gone out of business.
All prayer vigil participants are asked to sign a statement of peace, pledging to conduct themselves in a Christ-like manner at all times. The 40-day time frame is drawn from examples throughout Biblical history where God brought about world-changing transformation in 40-day periods.
Carney helped lead the first-ever 40 Days for Life campaign outside a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Bryan/College Station, Texas, in 2004 and has helped coordinate 19 national 40 Days for Life campaigns that have engaged communities across all 50 states and 40 different countries.
Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, labeled Bryan/College Station “the most anti-choice place in the nation.” Following more than a dozen 40 Days for Life campaigns at that location, Planned Parenthood closed that abortion center in the summer of 2013 following the conversion of clinic director Abby Johnson, who is now a popular pro-life activist helping other abortion workers leave the industry.
The former Planned Parenthood building now houses a pro-life pregnancy resource center directed by two former abortionists, as well as the international headquarters for 40 Days for Life.