The SJA Embrace Life ministry invites all parishioners to participate in this year’s “40 Days for Life” spring campaign (February 14 - March 25). The Planned Parenthood facilities in both Muncie and Terre Haute shut their doors in July 2016! Unfortunately, the Planned Parenthood facilities in both Lafayette and Indianapolis (86th & Georgetown Road) continue to operate.
“40 Days for Life” challenges everyone to participate via prayer, fasting, and taking part in peaceful vigils outside Planned Parenthood facilities. While prayer and fasting can be done in the security of your home, it takes an added level of determination to step outside your comfort zone and be a vigil participant. Below are answers to some common questions.
“40 Days For Life” Facts
1. Where are the Planned Parenthood offices located and where do I park?
The Indianapolis Planned Parenthood office is located at the corner of 86th and Georgetown Rd on the northwest side of Indianapolis. There is a broad, paved easement available for safe, legal parking spaces on the side of the road next to the clinic.
The Lafayette Planned Parenthood office is located at 964 Mezzanine Drive on the east side of Lafayette. Vigil participants may pray in the public right of way in front of the facility.
At both locations, it is important that participants not park in the Planned Parenthood lot or in any of the nearby businesses.
2. What do you do there? How long do you stay there? Why do I need to sign up?
There are a wide variety of things to do at the prayer vigil. Participants stand, kneel, walk up and down the easement area, or pray while seated on a folding chair that they may bring for themselves. Many say a rosary or other prayers. Some face the street and hold signs provided by 40 Days, which say things like “Pray to End Abortion”. Others choose to face the clinic as they pray. You may use the time as you are most comfortable. The atmosphere is prayerful and peaceful. 40 Days for Life participants are encouraged to sign up in one-hour increments via the Vigil Schedule found at www.40daysindy.org for Indianapolis and 40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/lafayette/ for Lafayette. Vigil times at both facilities are 7 am to 7 pm Monday through Saturday. On Sundays in Lafayette the vigil runs 2 to 7 pm, while in Indy it runs from noon to 7 pm. It is not a requirement to sign up – you are simply encouraged to do so.
3. Will I see women going in to have an abortion while I am there?
Not necessarily. Abortions are performed on certain days of the week. This schedule can change, and historically abortion days are reduced during the 40 Days for Life campaigns. Also, women may be going to Planned Parenthood for other services. Trained sidewalk counselors will be present on the days abortions are being performed.
4. What is atmosphere while there? Is it a totally silent environment?
The atmosphere is quiet, prayerful, and peaceful. Some people say their prayers silently, while others say them out loud or in a group, but all are united – regardless of religion – in praying together for an end to abortion. Occasionally, motorists passing by will offer honks or shouts, either in support or opposition to our presence at the clinic.
5. Is the prayer vigil legal? Is there a chance I could be arrested?
The prayer vigil takes place on a public property easement in front of Planned Parenthood. 40 Days for Life has a permit to hold the vigil at this site. As long you do not go onto Planned Parenthood property or obstruct their driveway, you have every legal right to be on the easement.
6. Will there be confrontations or arguments? Will there be graphic signs on displays?
The prayer vigil is a time of prayer and peaceful contemplation. Therefore, there is virtually no interaction between Planned Parenthood staff and 40 Days prayers. 40 Days for Life participants may not display graphic signs, although occasionally individuals not associated with 40 Days may have such signs. All signs are provided by 40 Days and are prayerful and peaceful in nature. Occasionally, motorists passing by will offer honks or shouts, either in support or opposition to our presence at the clinic.
7. Will I be called upon to interact with women coming to or going from the clinic?
No, vigil participants are called to focus on prayer. Sidewalk counselors are at the clinic site during most operating hours and are specifically trained to interact with and counsel the women going to the clinic.