Chris Davis and 40 Days for Life

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by Susan Flanagan

Some exciting successes for the local pro-life effort occurred in 2017. Chris Davis, head of the local 40 Days for Life campaign, was thrilled to report that as a result of their efforts over the last few years, sidewalk volunteers outside the two local abortion clinics could now count over 100 babies saved.  Little did he know that soon he would be celebrating the permanent closure of the Bossier abortion clinic!

Chris first became involved in pro-life ministries as a volunteer in 2010. For Chris, it was a personal quest and he delights in telling his story. Back in 1969, he relates, a young couple faced an unplanned pregnancy and fortunately chose life. Chris smiles as he discloses, “That baby was me.”

He joined the Vita Pro-Life group that prayed the Rosary regularly at Hope Medical Group for Women, the abortion clinic in Shreveport. It was there that he learned about 40 Days for Life, which is a national campaign promoting a peaceful and prayerful presence outside abortion clinics. Emily Nickelson and Chris kickstarted the local chapter, but Emily was unable to continue because of her own pregnancy. When Chris mentioned to friends that they were looking for a new director, one friend suggested that “maybe God is calling you.”  After hearing this repeatedly from several sources, Chris began to get the message!  He’s been the local Director of 40 Days for Life ever since.

Chris and others, including the One Life Group from the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, have also brought professional sidewalk counselors to Shreveport. They hold annual training sessions before 40 Days for Life begins each year. Lauren Muzyka from Sidewalk Advocates for Life in Dallas has trained a number of local volunteers on how to approach women in compassionate and helpful ways.

“Our focus is on helping both the mother and the child,” Chris says, “as well as the father and the whole family, for that matter.  Saying yes to life is always the best choice.”
Pro-life volunteers follow up on helping the women in these situations and “put their money where their mouth is.”  When Chris posted on the 40 Days for Life Facebook page that he needed rent money for a couple he had counseled, he got $1,000 overnight.

As far as the Bossier abortion clinic closing, Chris had sensed for some time that there were problems there. Some workers actually came out to confide in Chris when he was on the sidewalk praying, and asked for his help in finding a different line of work.

In late March, Day 32 of the 40 Days for Life spring campaign, one of the workers told a volunteer that the clinic was closing. Hoping this wasn’t going to be an April Fools joke, volunteers cautiously waited day after day to be sure, until finally the clinic website went down, the phones were disconnected, the moving vans came, and the clinic turned back their license to the state.

Chris staged a huge victory celebration and Shawn Carney, the National Director of 40 Days for Life, attended, as well as almost 100 local jubilant volunteers!

Chris attributes all the glory of this closure to God through the power of prayer and he marvels when he thinks back on his own involvement in this miracle. He didn’t think he had time to be the 40 Days for Life Director, but remembered a speech he heard by David Bereit saying, “Do it anyway.” So he did. And now his new motto about closing the local abortion clinics?  “One down, one to go!”

The next 40 Days for Life campaign has just begun! Look at the sidebar for contact information on how to get involved. And with YOUR help, the miracles can continue!

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