Steve Karlen knows cold weather. Before he joined the 40 Days for Life team as our North American outreach director, Steve led multiple campaigns in Madison, Wisconsin. He also orchestrated wintertime prayer vigils when the University of Wisconsin Medical Center was considering doing late-term abortions.
His persistence in the cold paid off. After the public outcry that followed, the medical center backed off from its plans.
Steve just got back from speaking in places where the weather was pleasant … but by the end of the campaign in most of these locations, it will be getting quite chilly.
Here’s his report from the road.
SIOUX CITY, IOWA
This is Sioux City’s seventh campaign – a 24-hour-a-day vigil. When I rolled into town around 11 pm, sure enough there was somebody out praying in front of the Planned Parenthood facility.
This used to be a surgical abortion center, but I’m told there are none taking place. In fact, they believe that there may not be any chemical abortions right now, either. The volunteers here are hoping that this Planned Parenthood location will follow in the footsteps of many other Iowa abortion centers and close.
Planned Parenthood built a big fence to separate its facility from the pregnancy care center next door. But the local Knights of Columbus built a ramp so people can continue to sidewalk counsel.
I enjoyed meeting with the 40 Days for Life volunteers in Mankato. This is their fourth campaign … and the team says it has never missed an hour. Now that’s quite an accomplishment!
This is the ninth 40 Days for Life campaign in Burlington – but this time, buffer zone restrictions that had been in place before have been lifted, and the prayer volunteers can get much closer to Planned Parenthood’s entryway.
And Planned Parenthood doesn’t like it. They’re pleading with the city council to set up another buffer zone, suggesting that without one, the facility may have to move. City attorneys have cautioned against any further restrictions.
PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK
At the kickoff event for Plattsburgh’s eighth campaign, the good news was shared about two babies who were saved from abortion during the most recent 40 Days for Life campaign.
The campaign’s efforts also encouraged the establishment of a new pregnancy help center in the Plattsburgh area. This positive resource is now available … and saw its first client the day I was there for the kickoff.
UTICA, NEW YORK
The 40 Days for Life campaign in Utica is the city’s first. Its leadership team includes Messianic Jews. The kickoff featured a number of pastors from the area … an awesome band … and a great crowd, many of whom have never done anything like this before.
Following the opening rally, we went to pray at the abortion center. The prayer was launched with the playing of the shofar – the ram’s horn. Some passersby noticed the vigil … and joined in!
Thanks again to Steve Karlen for today’s update!
Here’s the link to today’s devotional.