AZ Right to Life speaker: AZRTL is one of the top prolife groups in the country

David Bereit
Arizona Right to Life’s Education Conference kicked off last night with a dinner featuring David Bereit, founder of 40 Days for Life. The purpose of 40 Days for Life is to shut down abortion clinics. Bereit was impressive; intelligent, polished, and professional, it made you feel very proud to have someone this credible working in the grassroots trenches on our side. His work shutting down abortion clinics in his hometown of College Station in Texas was so successful that Gloria Feldt of Planned Parenthood once sent out a letter to NARAL labeling College Station “the most anti-choice place in the nation.”

He praised the AZ Right to Life organization, saying it’s one of the very best among the 48 states he’s been to giving talks about his work. Bereit said that prolifers in other states would be grateful to have an organization as successful as AZRTL. (the bias in the local liberal media against AZRTL is glaring – regardless of how successful AZRTL is, the media never covers AZRTL but you can bet if this was an Arizona Association of Abortion Rights conference it would be front page Valley & State coverage in the Republic)

Bereit’s talk focused on the work he’s done shutting down abortion clinics. He became interested when he was living in Corpus Christi, where the prolife community there successfully got all the abortion clinics in the town shut down, mostly by constant prayer vigils outside them. Moving to College Station, he tried to stop a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic from opening up there, but was unsuccessful. This prompted him to quit his job in pharmaceutical sales in 2001 and focus on shutting down abortion clinics fulltime.

First they got Planned Parenthood kicked out of the schools in College Station. A high school student successfully collected petitions to lobby the school board to prohibit Planned Parenthood from distributing its literature. Gradually abortions started to decrease in the community; 2% the first year, 14% the second year. Bereit came up with the 40 Days of Life concept. It consists of 40 days of serious tactical work to defeat abortion clinics through 24-hour prayer vigils outside the clinics, grassroots outreach, going door-to-door and even fasting or giving up something. In College Station, some of his student volunteers knocked on 35,000 doors. Finally, abortions fell by 28%.

Due to the success in College Station, Bereit was asked by national prolife leaders to expand his 40 Days for Life across the nation. Since then, he’s gone everywhere. Last fall, 89 cities participated, and 174 more are this year, including cities in Canada and American Samoa.

He hears stories of women who have gone into the clinics to have an abortion then left without having one, because they knew someone was standing outside praying for them. Recently, Bereit looked back at some of the pictures he’d taken of abortion clinics he’d gotten shut down over the years, to remember what they’d looked like, and spotted one with one of his protesters standing in front with a large sign, “Nothing is impossible with God.”

The only addition that could have made the evening better would have been to ask everyone present who has ever prayed or protested outside of an abortion clinic to stand up. There were numerous Arizonans in the audience who regularly pray and protest outside of the Tempe and Tucson abortion clinics.


Comments

  1. He said, it’s hard, but not impossible. It requires sacrifice, but we can do it, and the rewards are great.

    He reminds us, unequivocally, that lives are at stake: small, defensless, human, lives. We cannot stand by and watch as babies are killed and mothers are harmed (physically, emotionally, and psychologically). Immediate action is demended. That’s why the 40 days campaign is so powerful.

    Allegorically speaking, this election is all about getting up off the sidelines and making a statement that the lives of unborn babies is as much an important issue (if not more important) as the safety and security of our country and in fixing our economy.

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