Aurora, Illinois

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Steve Karlen, the 40 Days for Life North American outreach director, helped launch the Aurora campaign. Being there brought back memories for Steve.

“My wife grew up in nearby Naperville,” he said, “and that is where we lived in 2007, when the Planned Parenthood abortion mega-center in Aurora was being finalized. That was our first exposure to 40 Days for Life – and a big reason why we got involved.”

Eric Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League, who organized that first 40 Days for Life effort in Aurora, recalled the massive response when Planned Parenthood was trying to open … and told the crowd of the need to bring back that same spirit.

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“It was truly a cross-denominational event,” Steve said, and noted that by his count, there were 29 police officers patrolling the area.

One of the rally speakers did tell a truly remarkable story. His mom tried taking multiple drugs to have an abortion, but they did not work. She tried to schedule a surgical abortion, but the doctor refused to do it. He attributes his survival to prayer. He now wants to start a maternity safe house in Ghana.

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Written by
David Brandao, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

With 40 Days for Life, David wears many hats. Prior to joining the 40 Days for Life team, he was an award-winning radio and TV journalist. He has also served as a board member for a pregnancy help center and as publications director for a major national pro-life organization.