DAY 38: Exporting abortion

Many countries in the West export great products around the world. But we also export abortion.

We discuss this in detail in the Aborting Africa podcast episode.

One example of this is the British-based abortion business, Marie Stopes, going into Mexico. The people of Mexico have responded with great faith and looked to the United States for ways to oppose the spreading of abortion in their nation.

As a result, Mexico is one of the fastest-growing countries for 40 Days for Life.

Vigils are under way in 22 locations in Mexico right now – and Katharine O’Brien, our director of Hispanic and youth outreach, was able to visit many of them during this campaign.

Here’s a quick look at some of Katharine’s stops.


Mexico’s first 40 Days for Life campaign took place in the Roma section of Mexico City.

“They have so many great stories,” Katharine said, “as they continue to change and develop. Their volunteers are very dedicated. During the 40 Days for Life campaigns, they notice a decrease in the number of abortions.”

The owners of the small restaurant next to the Marie Stopes abortion center are big supporters of the campaign, and serve many of the volunteers at the vigil.

“One participant has an amazing voice and when she prays,” Katharine said, “Marie Stopes shuts the window. However, we think they can still hear the prayers.”


Pedregal’s 40 Days for Life vigil is next to a Marie Stopes center that’s on a busy, noisy road.

“They have a small team,” Katharine said, “but they were deeply dedicated.”

After one couple chose life for their child, Marie Stops started putting up a metal fence on the sidewalk in an effort to keep the vigil participants away from their clients.

“We saw several women leave looking very upset,” Katharine said. “Most likely, they had just had abortions. One girl was probably 18 years old.”


Tere in Iztapalapa is an experienced leader who has a great group of supporters and prayers volunteers.

This campaign is outside another Marie Stopes facility, where the business also sets up a metal barrier every day to keep the 40 Days for Life participants away from the door.

“They have had a few saves,” Katharine said. “However many women decide to get abortions, so it can sometimes be discouraging for them. But they pray all day long. Despite the challenges, the volunteers are lively and love the campaign.”


At the 40 Days for Life vigil in Xola, Norma and Marcos are extremely dedicated to the campaign. They spend many hours each day on the sidewalk outside of Mexfam.

Mexfam is surrounded by food vendors along the street. Norma and Marcos made sure to tell each vendor about 40 Days for Life and what they are doing.

About 70 people attend on a regular basis to participate on the sidewalk.

Norma and Marcos told Katharine, “Just like a fish needs water, we need the campaign. This is what sustains us. We love 40 Days for Life! The community has said yes to life and has adopted us. They bring us sweaters and food. This is God’s providence at its greatest.”


At the 40 Days for Life vigil in Coyoacan, Hugo Rico is a very dedicated leader.

“He spends many hours out on the sidewalk,” Katharine said. “There are several different groups of people who came out to take over the shifts, including a group of mothers who come to the campaign after they get their kids to school.”

This vigil is also right next to a Marie Stopes facility.

La Villa

The 40 Days for Life coordinator in La Villa is Marycarmen, a mother of three and a physical therapist. “When she isn’t working and caring for her kids,” Katharine said, “she is out at the campaign.”

The vigil is outside the front door of the facility … in a neighborhood near the basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Marycarmen has found that campaign leadership involves a lot of work, “but she is taking it in stride and doing a great job,” said Katharine. “For better or for worse, she said the clinic workers pretty much ignore them.”


Alejandro Martinez is the 40 Days for Life leader in Azcapotzalco.

“There were several volunteers at the vigil site when we arrived – people who often take several hours on the sidewalk to keep the vigil filled,” Katharine said.

People continued to arrive to pray, she said, “including some very lively participants from other pro-life groups who seemed to really like 40 Days for Life. “