40 Days for Life in Texas ends its prayer vigil and the Supreme Court Declines to Block the Texas Heartbeat Act
“Our society is out of sync with reality. It’s surreal sitting here with Planned Parenthood nestled among all the other medical buildings (intended to heal),” a parishioner from Mary, Queen of Heaven Catholic Church in Malakoff, Texas said on Oct. 16, 2021. Terrible things came out of that building, “but consciences are sleeping,” he said.
While he preferred not to be named, he proudly identified the parish where he and his wife had come from to participate in the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil at the Planned Parenthood in Tyler. This campaign began Sept 22 and ended Oct. 31, 2021.
Indeed most people walking and driving by turned their heads away from our signs that said, “Love them Both” (Mother and child), “We love life,” and “Pray to end abortion.”
It was surreal. The day was sunny, beautiful and utterly still as six older adults quietly prayed across the street from the empty abortion referral center. It was Saturday morning. Few recognized our costumes — the breastplate of justice, the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation. We wore belts of truth, and carried the sword of the Spirit. We knew we faced a spiritual battle.
The Texas Heartbeat Act, which went into effect Sept. 1, 2021, made it possible to sue anyone who performs or induces an abortion, or aids and abets one, once there is evidence that the child’s heart beats — usually about six weeks into the pregnancy. The law had a chilling effect on abortions in the state of Texas because 85 to 90 percent of the abortions occur after six weeks, according to lawyers representing the state’s abortion clinics.
Texas has about 24 abortion clinics, down from roughly 40 before 2013, when the Texas Legislature imposed other abortion restrictions, according to the New York Times. More are expected to close if the Texas law remains in effect.
But toxic forces are working to overturn the Texas Law. And Nov. 1, the feast of All Saints, began the first effort to reinstate abortion in Texas. Abortion providers in Texas went before the U.S. Supreme Court to seek an immediate injunction against the law until its merits could be properly adjudicated at a later time.
However, in connection with that, a beautiful witness emerged on behalf of the Heartbeat Act. The Justice Foundation, filed a brief on behalf of 410 Texas women injured by abortion, abortion survivors, and a group wanting the right to publish realistic pictures of aborted children. “Thus, the brief represents, for the first time in American history, women injured by abortion uniting with children who providentially survived an abortion, and pictures of the aborted children who did not survive abortion,” the Justice Foundation told its friends and supporters. The 40 Days for Life campaign was planned to finish just before this momentous judicial event on Nov. 1.
The closing vigil for the fall campaign was on Friday night before Halloween, according to Ann Kohls, the 40 Days for Life campaign organizer. A Protestant pastor came out with 15 members of his congregation, while a Catholic chanted the litany of the saints.
And by Wednesday Nov. 3, 2021, the Supreme Court declined to block the most restrictive abortion measure in the nation, the Texas Heartbeat Act. This is unprecedented.
“I don’t think people think the fight has been won,” Ms. Kohls said, “The danger is complacency.” The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Dec. 1, 2021 for Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization challenging the constitutionality of a 2018 Mississippi law that banned abortions after 15 weeks. This is a law that has never been enforced due to lower court decisions. Ms. Kohls said a two-day long prayer vigil is planned across the street from the Tyler abortion referral clinic at 601 Turtle Creek on Tuesday, Nov. 30 and Wednesday, Dec. 1. The hope is that Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, will be overturned.
Don’t think it’s false hope. Remember this is a spiritual battle. Catholic evangelist Zachery King, a former high wizard of a satanic cult and author of Abortion is a Satanic Sacrifice, tells the story of when he was about to conduct a late term abortion as a sacrifice to Satan. There were people across the street chanting and holding prayer beads. Curious, he and the abortion doctor opened the window to listen. He heard and he repeated the words of the “Hail Mary.” He laughed especially when they said, “Mother of God.”
Then he closed the window and attempted to begin an abortion, but when the doctor checked, it appeared that the birth was a still a long way off. They planned to kill the baby just before birth. The woman was saying, “It’s in the birth canal! It’s coming now!” But the doctor and the high wizard refused to believe her. Then 30 seconds later, they heard a baby crying, and so the abortion was completely thwarted.
King began to research the records kept by satanists of their failed abortions. “I read hundreds of reports. Everybody said prayer beads, prayer chains, worry beads. No one called it a Rosary. Everyone called it something different. In every failed abortion there were people nearby praying a Rosary,” King told members of the Catholic Association of Scientists and Engineers in 2018. Dominican tradition says the Rosary was given to St. Dominic in 1208 to fight the Albigensian movement. It’s no coincidence that the Albigensians taught the bearing of children was evil.
“When the Protestants make fun of you for praying the Rosary, give them one!” King said.
This story would be no surprise to Carol Seward of Tyler. On Oct. 16, she was a pillar of silence holding the Rosary outside the abortion referral clinic. She stood like a warrior. She would not speak to me until after her hour of prayer was up.
Mrs. Seward is retired from the Diocese of Dallas where she directed the Convert to Life ministry. She was involved in the second 40 Days for Life in Dallas.
40 Days for Life was started in 2004 outside the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Bryan-College Station, Texas. The Brazos Valley Coalition for Life started a campaign of prayer and fasting 24 hours a day for 40 days with the goal of closing the facility.
It is a repeated pattern from stories in the Bible — Noah’s Ark survived 40 days of the flood, Moses prayed 40 days on Mount Sinai until he was given the 10 commandments and Jesus spent 40 days fasting and praying in the desert before he was tempted by the evil one.
The plan worked! In 2013, the Bryan Planned Parenthood closed. The building is now operated by 40 Days for Life. Not only that, but since 2007, when the movement went international, 19,518 lives have been saved, 114 abortion centers have been closed, and 222 abortion workers have quit, according to the 40 Days for Life website.
Today 64 nations worldwide have a 40 Days for Life campaign, representing 1 million volunteers, 20,000 churches and 8,028 local campaigns. But that was not a sure thing until the second prayer campaign for life took place in Dallas in 2004. Mrs. Seward had put up a website about the movement and it was scheduled to expire October 2005. She feared she had run the second and the last 40 Days for Life Campaign. But responding to her web page, a lady called her from Green Bay, Wisconsin, just before the web page expired. That became the third city hosting the 40 Day prayer vigil.
With her Rosary in hand, Mrs. Seward watched many people come out of the abortion clinic in Dallas, telling her that they had changed their minds. There were two driveways, one going in and one going out of the Aaron Women’s Center in Dallas. She was praying the Rosary at the entrance and another gentleman at the exit. He left to go home, and a woman came out the abortion clinic asking for him. She had seen him praying the Rosary and she wanted to send him a picture of her baby. “If he’s out there praying the Rosary for me, I can’t have an abortion,” the lady told Mrs. Seward.
Mrs. Seward can’t hold the sign-in book for the first 40 days for life in Dallas in 2004 without crying. Eighteen hundred people signed up and came to pray. On Christmas morning in the midst of a blizzard, witnesses — Catholics and Messianic Jews — sang carols in front of the abortion center. Such a joyous witness could not be ignored by God. Four years later the clinic was bulldozed.
“This is a spiritual battle,” 40 Days for Life coordinator Mrs. Kohls said, “Each woman who chooses life is a heart changed. This is our eternal life that we are talking about.”
“The Heartbeat Bill doesn’t prevent abortion,” said Sabrina Adams, Sanctity for Life coordinator for St. Boniface Catholic Church in Chandler, Texas. It only prevents chemical and surgical abortions after six weeks. Unfortunately, pro-life organizers fear morning after pills and chemical abortion are readily available online and from Planned Parenthood. Science shows that life begins at conception. This practice would end the child’s life when he or she is most vulnerable.
Ms. Adams cited several groups that are involved in preventing the decision to have an abortion. “We don’t punish. We have to help them with counseling,” she said. Most people who have had an abortion suffer from grief, relationship problems and low self esteem. There are organizations that help post-abortion women and men heal with counseling, Ms. Adams said.
Then there are classes to prevent abortion among young people by helping them work through things before they become sexually active. Sadly, “it’s hard to get parents to bring their kids for pre-marital counseling,” Ms. Adams said. These young people can get the morning after abortion pill in gas stations in Brownsboro, Texas, she added. It’s readily available.
Then there are pregnancy resource centers like the one in Athens, Texas, offering free pregnancy tests and pregnancy parenting classes, which address the issues facing a mother who is already pregnant.
There is also a public awareness campaign through the churches. Parishioners can sign a petition for their city council and plant a sign in their yard that says, “Make Our City a SANCTUARY CITY FOR THE UNBORN.”
If you feel called to help Bishop Strickland expand the pro-life outreach for the Diocese of Tyler, he is forming a Sanctity of Life Committee. The initial meeting is Nov. 20 at 1 p.m. in the St. Paul Meeting Room in the Chancery, 1015 ESE Loop 323, Tyler.
For questions about the Sanctity of Life Committee, contact Committee Chairman Kevin Kukla at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 972-924-5478. To sign up for more information go to bit.ly/stricklandforlife.
Watch Zachary King, former Satanist give a talk on a speaking tour in Maryland in 2018 arranged by the anti-abortion group, Defend Life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKzYf6Wh4N4