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40 Days for Life continues in 6 Mass. locations


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HAVERHILL -- In 2015, 549 women entered Merrimack Valley Women's Health Services on Fridays, the day the Haverhill clinic typically performs abortions, and prayers were offered for each and every one. The faithful vigilers stand outside the clinic in all weather, all year round. Twice a year, they participate in 40 Days for Life, the campaign of peaceful protest, prayer and fasting where constant vigil is held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day for 40 days. The current campaign runs from Feb. 10 to March 20.

For years, 40 Days for Life has been held in six Massachusetts cities -- Attleboro, Boston, Haverhill, Lynn, Springfield and Worcester. When the previous Haverhill coordinator stepped down after the last campaign, it was unclear whether the campaign could continue. The Knights of Columbus Council 202 in Haverhill recently agreed to take up the torch.

The first 40 Days for Life was conducted in College Station, Texas in 2004. Since then, 675,000 people have participated in 607 cities and 32 countries.

In Haverhill, Council 202 members have prayed outside the clinic on Fridays year-round for several years. Joe Sarcone, a Third Degree Knight, said he goes every Friday to stand for the babies and their mothers; he does not want the women to suffer from the pain the life-altering procedure can bring.

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