Pro-Lifers Kick Off Fall 2021 Boston 40 Days For Life Campaign With Prayer Outside Planned Parenthood

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More than 20 people stood outside the Planned Parenthood clinic on Commonwealth Avenue on Wednesday to pray for abortion to end — with a sense of optimism.

A Franciscan priest named Father Andrew led the prayer as attendees held roses and signs, most of which said “Pray To End Abortion.”

It was the start of the fall 40 Days For Life campaign in Boston, a campaign that spans the planet. The majority of attendees of the Boston event were women. 

The purpose of the 40 Days For Life campaign is to change people’s minds about abortion and to prevent women from ending the lives of their unborn children. From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from now until October 31, the Boston campaign is trying to have someone outside of the Planned Parenthood clinic praying for the end of abortion.

It’s an ultra-liberal area right near Boston University, so most people who went by likely disagree with the messaging. However, Rita Russo, who organizes the Boston 40 Days for Life Campaign, said it provides a valuable opportunity to give people a different perspective.

“I think it’s the most important thing we can do,” Russo said of the pro-life cause. “It’s important work to save lives of the unborn. I believe that abortion hurts women and a lot of these women going by that have been less than kind to us don’t realize it. It goes against a woman’s nature to hurt a child.”

Father Andrew (who goes only by his title and his first name) primarily led the prayer at the kickoff event. 

He told the attendees that this could be the final year they do the event where Roe v Wade is the law of the land — a thought that brought smiles to their faces.

“It’s a great joy to be here today,” Father Andrew told NewBostonPost. “The 40 Days For Life campaign takes place in both the spring and the fall. In the fall, 40 days is a gathering of prayer for unborn children and for their mothers to end abortion in our country, and in the fall, it usually ends right before election time which helps us be focused on electing pro-life leaders for our country and praying that people’s hearts are changed on this important issue.”

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on December 1 for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that challenges Roe v. Wade because it stems from a ban on abortion after 15 weeks passed by the Mississippi Legislature and signed into law. Some observers think at least five (or possibly six) of the nine justices on the court are inclined to overturn the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

Both Father Andrew and Russo said that the thought of such a major victory for the pro-life cause soon serves as motivation for people involved with it.

“It doesn’t seem that there’s a way that the Supreme Court can kind of wiggle out of it,” Father Andrew said of taking on the issue of abortion. “We’re hoping that a strict constitutionalist approach is applied and that legal protections return for the unborn. We’re going to be praying for that as well.”

Russo noted that a 1981 state court decision in Massachusetts interpreted the state constitution as requiring state funding of abortions for poor women.

But she’s still hopeful about the Mississippi case and a comparable anti-abortion law in Texas, hoping that they and other pro-life-leaning states may be able “to hold the line and become abortion-free states.”

Like Russo, Father Andrew noted that if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, there will still be plenty of work for the pro-life cause to do. 

“In Massachusetts, we have to be particularly energized because our politicians don’t support us,” Father Andrew said. “They want abortion enshrined as a right in this Commonwealth throughout all nine months of pregnancy. It depends on how it gets overturned. If they simply send it back to the states, there are states that will put abortion on the books forever. There are other states where that won’t happen, but that means we can start to chip away at it again. Even if it takes another generation here, we will win — and I don’t want to use a cliche, but we’re on the right side of history. History is pro-life, pro-family, pro-children, and pro-women. God is on our side, and He wants us to be victorious.”

Father Andrew said that pro-family policies, including larger tax benefits for adoption, would be a part of the agenda. He said that the pro-life cause also wants to make abortion unthinkable.

In a typical Boston 40 Days For Life campaign, Russo said that there can be more than 100 participants — and she’s grateful for all of them.

“I have a lot of people who are very faithful to the campaign,” she said. “You see familiar faces and we pick up new faces. We’re blessed we still live a free country where we can come out and defend the unborn.”

She encouraged people to visit the 40 Days For Life web site if they’re interested in getting involved and signing up to be a part of the campaign. The link for the Boston campaign is:

Father Andrew and Rita Russo


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