Since living in the Greater Philadelphia for more than two years, Dr. Monique Ruberu knew that 40 days was needed because over 14,098 babies are killed in Philadelphia every year and “much had to be done for the moms and their babies”. When she learned about 40 Days for Life and its powerful impact on the community, she wanted to bring it to the largest Planned Parenthood in the state, located in the heart of the city. Philadelphia started their first campaign two years ago outside of the largest Planned Parenthood in the heart of the city.
40 Days for Life, founded by David Bereit in 2007, has grown to all fifty states along with several other countries. The 40 Days initiative consists of fasting, peaceful praying, and counseling in front of an abortion facility for 40 days straight. The campaigns are held twice a year during the Lenten season from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday and six weeks prior to the general election.
This year the 40 Days ministry inaugurated its first United Bus Tour. The goal of the bus tour was to visit every city that is hosting a prayer vigil, which is held in every state. On Tuesday October 4th the bus made a stop in Philadelphia for a public rally where 100 pro-lifers had the chance to write a message, learn about the bus tour, and hears great testimonies from its founder David Bereit and other speakers.
“You are a part of the most critical episode in America’s history” Bereit remarked. During his speech he reminds everyone to stay vigilant and persevere for the defense of life.
He found it fitting that the United Bus Tour made a stop in Philadelphia because “our founding fathers knew 240 years ago that Americans first inalienable right was the right to life”.
Along with Bereit was Steve Karlen, the campaign director of the 40 Days for Life organization. He shared with those gathered that during their stop in Warminster a mom who is carrying twins decided to choose life. When he shared the news, the crowd cheered. Bereit shared a story about how he wanted to meet someone who walked out from her abortion appointment. While attending a pro-life banquet in Harrisburg, he met a young mom who changed her mind and chose life for her son, Micah.
“Your presence speaks volume, whether it is just one or two people outside of Planned Parenthood.” Karlen encouraged.
Karlen went on to remind everyone that the pro life and adoption message go hand to hand because “It unlocks the potential of every unborn baby.”
Karlen acknowledges the fact that during this pivotal election our nation “is at a crossroad and a majority of Americans know we’re heading into the wrong direction”. He went on to encourage the participants to break out of their comfort zone and help up with 40 Days.
The event has attracted Martyna and Kyle Werder, newlyweds from St. John Canitus Parish in Bridesburg.
“I was amazed at the great testimonies heard during the rally” Martyna recalled. While comparing the abortion fight in America with that of her native country Poland, she said that all countries must be “willing to take up the gauntlet to defend the most vulnerable of our society.”
Nikolai Brelinsky, a seminarian at St. Charles Borremeo, was one of the many attendees that was inspired by the message of 40 days.
“We are called to action” Nikolai remarked. Pro-Lifers have to do their best to “stand against the abortion industry while they exploit women for profit.”