By Jessica Easthope
The fight for life – as the national war wages on, the local battles haven’t been forgotten. Outside a Planned Parenthood in Downtown Brooklyn, echoes of Our Fathers blend with the shuffle of pedestrians and Hail Marys are said with the hope of transforming hearts.
“We really want women to know that there is an alternative and most of the women who walk into these buildings do not feel like they have a choice,” said Debbie Sucich, the North Brooklyn co-coordinator for the 40 Days for Life Campaign.
Sucich has been out there, rain or shine, for 12 hours every day praying to end abortion. But it’s not just prayers – this group comes armed with information, phone numbers, resources and help with hope and healing.
“It may seem a little abstract to them but when they see people out here concretely offering resources and praying, I think they know how much they’re cared for,” Debbie said.
40 Days for Life has two campaigns every year and 1,000 cities across the country pray in front of abortion clinics. Most days the group is met with support and protest but sometimes people like Isabel Cordova are compelled to stop and pray with them.
“I could not just walk by,” said Isabel, a parishioner at Queen of All Saints Church in Fort Greene. “There was something stirred in me to stop because I believe in what they’re doing and I believe in the right to life.”
The more people the better because this time their prayers are set against the backdrop of a major legislative decision. The Biden Administration is asking the Supreme Court to step in and suspend Texas’ six-week abortion law. The Department of Justice says the Lone Star State circumvented the Supreme Court’s rulings in Roe v. Wade. Last month, the high court declined to block the law in a five-to-four decision.
“We’re responsible for what happens locally so despite what happens nationally we’re encouraged that more people will become educated and resources available will be more known to women,” said Debbie.
The group says what they call “baby saves” are the goal but it’s a long fight and they’re not getting tired.
DEFENDING LIFE – HOW YOU CAN TAKE PART
To sign up and join Debbie’s group, you can go to 40daysforlife.com and join under Brooklyn North. This prayer campaign ends on Oct. 31. You can also contact your local representative about pro-life issues and repealing New York’s abortion law through the New York State Catholic Conference action center on nyscatholic.org.