By Debbie Shelley

The Catholic Commentator 

The lives of the unborn will hopefully be among many saved during Baton Rouge’s annual 40 Days for Life, Sept. 26 – Nov. 4, according to Danielle Van Haute, who co-chairs the event with Clelie and Charles Carpenter.  

The Baton Rouge event is part of a national 40 Days for Life peaceful vigil of prayer and fasting for the end of abortion.  

Overall, the days have been “filling up nicely,” but there is still more need for coverage, especially during the event’s first week, said Van Haute.  

“Again this year, we’ve had a good response from other denominations,” said Van Haute. “It is meant to be an interdenominational effort so we an come together as one voice for the unborn and women.”  

Last year, more than 35 ministries and organizations participated and 1,500 people came to pray. There were 14 babies saved during the event.  

“That has been the norm since we started in 2011. We typically have 1,300 – 1,500 people coming to pray for the unborn. And that’s really staggering when you think about it,” said Van Haute.  

“I think even when you see the fruit of our prayer, or even when our numbers are smaller than what we would like to see, those are lives being changed. We will never know this side of heaven the results of our prayer and fasting.  

“It’s not just babies who have been saved. It’s the moms who have been spared the pain of abortion, it’s the fathers, it’s current and/or future siblings, it’s extended family members, all of society. Abortion has a ripple effect that is staggering. We do speak about the life of the child, but there are so many other lives that are being spared as well.  

She reassured people who have never prayed at 40 Days for Life “there are a large number of folks praying, so you won’t come out as a lone voice.”  

She said the most important role people play at 40 Days for Life is simply to be a “presence.”  

“This is a great opportunity to reach out to a friend or members of your Bible study or ministry. Bring a friend,” said Van Haute.  

She urged people to come out for whatever amount of time they can give, noting that some come during their lunch hour or for a few minutes after work.  

“Whatever time people are able to spend out there is wonderful and helpful,” said Van Haute. 

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