By Anne Marie Amacher
Nearly 250 cities will participate in what is expected to be the largest 40 Days for Life campaign ever.
The pro-life campaign begins March 9 on Ash Wednesday and runs through April 17 — which is Palm Sunday. Groups in Bettendorf, Fairfield and Iowa City are among those participating.
Jeanne Wonio of the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants said 40 Days for Life is about prayer and fasting for life. People offer a peaceful, prayerful presence outside abortion clinics throughout the United States and other countries while also educating the community about life issues. The Helpers will open with prayer on Ash Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. on the sidewalk in front of the Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s Bettendorf clinic.
Hours of prayer throughout the 40 days are: Mondays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Prayers are also needed the third Saturdays of the month from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Bettendorf 40 Days for Life will conclude on Good Friday, April 22, from noon to 1 p.m.
Wonio asks people to spend an hour each week praying on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood or at home. To sign up for a time or for more information, contact Wonio at (563) 355-4188 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jefferson County Right to Life invites the public to join in silent prayer each week day for one hour, from noon to 1 p.m., says Karen Crossland. Prayer will take place in the basement meeting room of the First National Bank on the southeast corner of the square in downtown Fairfield, beginning on Wednesday, March 9 and continuing until April 15. “We are encouraging everyone to pray and fast to end abortion.”
Johnson County Right to Life will take part in the effort as well. Judee Albert of Johnson County Right to Life said the group is coordinating coverage outside the Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s Iowa City clinic on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and outside the Iowa City Emma Goldman Clinic on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We need each of you to come stand for an hour as a witness for life,” she said. The upcoming campaign is a “period devoted to prayer, fasting and almsgiving, making 40 Days for Life a very appropriate Lenten activity for us all. We have a large 40 Days for Life banner, so the purpose of our presence will be clear,” she said.
To sign up for a Wednesday or Friday prayer time, contact Albert at email@example.com.