National 40 Days for Life team visits Madison Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Vigil for Life, Madison For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Nov. 08, 2018 -- 12:00 AM
40 days for life
Steve Karlen, North American campaign director for 40 Days for Life, speaks in Madison on October 29. (Contributed photo)

MADISON -- On Monday, Oct. 29, the Madison 40 Days for Life campaign was blessed to hear from 40 Days for Life National Leaders: Shawn Carney, president; Matt Britton, general counsel; and Steve Karlen, campaign director.

Sue Thayer, former manager of a Planned Parenthood in Iowa, was also on hand to share her story with the 75 pro-life people assembled for the event.

When the group arrived, they were met by counter protesters from the newly formed group who call themselves Madison Abortion Defense. As the 40 Days for Life national leaders and Thayer made their way to their speaking location, they had to walk through the crowd of counter protesters who yelled, “Go home” at them.

On the other side of the counter protesters, the local 40 Days for Life leaders met the four and welcomed them to their vigil location, “We’re happy that you are here.”

Counter protesters make noise

Steve Karlen started the evening with prayer and began to speak. It was at his first words after prayer that the counter protesters made their way to the speaker’s location and stood behind the stage (a rented pickup) chanting things like, “Abortion is healthcare, abortion is a right”, “Free abortion on demand. Can we do it? Yes, we can”, and “Whose clinic? Our clinic”.

They were very loud! Kar-len was not deterred as he continued speaking and said that the noisy opposition was there because they are very worried. He talked of how the presence of 40 Days for Life at abortion facilities saves lives.

The tide is turning

Matt Britton was up next and reiterated what Karlen said about the opposition. He said the angry group wouldn’t be there if they thought everything was going well. The tide is turning and they are concerned.

Britton also mentioned that in his travels to speak at other 40 Days for Life campaign locations, the noise from the counter protesters was worse in places like Germany.

Shawn Carney pointed out that over 60 million babies had lost their lives to abortion, and half of that number were females. He said that the tragic irony is that the supporters of abortion call for women’s rights while ignoring all of the women who have been killed by abortion.

Carney backed up that the counter protesters wouldn’t be there if they weren’t worried. He said that they’d be gone in a couple of hours, while there would be a 24/7 peaceful, prayerful presence for the remaining 40 Days for Life campaign and then the daily year-round presence in the snow, cold, rain, and any other weather until we all see the end of abortion.

Stay the course

Sue Thayer encouraged the gathered pro-life crowd to stay the course. She mentioned that until her conversion, she was an abortion supporter like the counter protesters. Nobody is beyond God’s reach, she said.

Spiritual battle

Dan Endres and Greg Wagner led the crowd in the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary and in the Divine Mercy Chaplet before the crowd dispersed.

The spiritual battle being fought regarding abortion was on full display during this event. One person coming out to a 40 Days for Life event in Madison for the first time noted, “It’s not hard to tell who’s on Christ’s side and who’s on the side of the evil one.”

For more information on signing up to witness for life in Madison throughout the year, call Jan Hess at 608-697-9333 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Please support our advertisers: