Vigil FAQ

Note: This page is currently being revised for the 2013 Fall Campaign. 


What is 40 Days for Life?

40 Days for Life is a focused pro-life campaign with a vision to access God's power through prayer, fasting and peaceful vigil to end abortion.

Prayer - for an end to abortion, for God's guidance for those involved in prayer vigils and pro-life action around the country

Fasting - please consider fasting. It simply involves renouncing an activity that can put a barrier between you and God. It could be television, the internet, a favorite food or drink, etc. You really can do without it! Take the time you usually spend in those activities and give it back to God.

Peaceful Vigil - we stand witness and maintain a peaceful presence outside the Delta abortion facility on 756 Colonial Drive, Baton Rouge. Your presence sends a powerful message to the community about the tragic reality of abortion. It also serves as a call to repentance for those who work at the abortion facility and those who patronize the facility.

The mission of the campaign is to bring together the body of Christ in a spirit of unity during a focused 40-day campaign seeking God's help to turn hearts and minds from a culture of death to a culture of life, thus bringing an end to abortion.

When does the next campaign start?

The next campaign runs from September 25 through November 3, 2013.

What are the hours of the vigil?

The official hours that we cover are from 7:00 A.M. until 7:00 P.M. seven days a week. Of course, you are always welcome to come outside of these hours if it fits your schedule but we do encourage coming when others are present for safety.

Where will the vigil be held?

The vigil is held on the sidewalk outside of the Delta Clinic of Baton Rouge at 756 Colonial Drive (about 1 mile west of the intersection of Airline Highway and Goodwood Boulevard).

Where may we park?

The availability of parking depends on the day of the week. We want to be good neighbors so please follow the rules that we have established.

Weekday Parking:

Weekday parking is not available in the offices next to the vigil site in general. We have received permission to park nearby at:
8415 Goodwood Blvd at the OLOL Pediatric Clinic in the back of the building. It is the old Baton Rouge Clinic.

Weekend Parking:
Weekend parking is very easy as all of the businesses are closed. Please park in any of the nearby lots. However, DO NOT PARK IN DELTA’S PARKING LOT OR ON THE VACANT, GRASSY LOT ACROSS THE STREET AT ANY TIME.

What about parking on the grassy vacant lot across from Delta?

The primary vigil site is on Delta’s sidewalk. Our secondary vigil site is across the street on the grassy lot. 40 Days for Life participants are authorized to sit, pray, talk…almost anything EXCEPT PARK THERE. Please bring chairs or blankets for little ones. We encourage adults with children to stay on the lot since there is not a lot of room at the vigil site in front of Delta.

Where may we use the bathroom?

We have permission to use the bathroom at 8415 Goodwood Blvd at the OLOL Pediatric Clinic on the following days and hours:

Monday-Friday 8:00 am until 5:00 pm
Saturday 8:00 am until 12:00 pm
(See below for information about other bathrooms and food)

Is this a protest?

No. 40 Days for Life is a peaceful prayer vigil.

Where do I get materials to use during the vigil?

A vigil supply box will be located at the vigil site on the sidewalk. It will include:

  • ecumenical prayers and booklets
  • brochures and referral cards for area pregnancy counseling centers and post-abortion resources
  • a binder containing a daily sign-in sheet and extra Statements of Peace for those who don't sign-up in advance with a church or group or online.

If no one shows up to relieve you following your prayer commitment, please do NOT leave the vigil supply box on the sidewalk unattended. Please call your Day Coordinator first if you signed up with a church or group or the 40 Days for Life Baton Rouge Campaign Team at (225) 242-0135 to make arrangements.

What do we do while we are there?

Pray! By doing this we cover many needs. All of which have a tremendous impact! Even just being physically present makes a huge impact - so imagine the possibilities when you add the prayers to God!

  • Homeowners and businesses near the abortion facility may not know that thousands of abortions are performed each year in Baton Rouge at this location so we are bringing that awareness.
  • The women who are abortion-minded see that they are not alone and that we are praying for them.
  • The abortion facility staff is aware that we are praying for them.
  • The general public sees us praying for an end to abortion.

You may pray out loud or silently, you may pray individually or in a group, you may stand or kneel. Any type of prayer will work - most people use formal and informal prayers while at the abortion facility. You may face the abortion facility or the road while praying and others like to walk up and down the sidewalk as they pray.

Do not obstruct the driveway to the abortion facility or the sidewalks. Also, do not march up and down the sidewalk as that is more in keeping with a protest which this is not.

Sing! There are some who like to sing quietly to themselves or in groups.

Read Scripture! As with the other actions, read it aloud or silently. Over the course of the 40 days, we hope to have the entire bible read out loud by participants.

We strive to maintain a prayerful atmosphere while at the abortion facility. Kindly hold personal conversations away from the vigil site (across the street or down the sidewalk) in order to allow others a peaceful prayer space.

(Please see the Statement of Peace for more on appropriate conduct at the vigil.)

I have never prayed outside an abortion facility and I'm nervous. What should I do?

Go with someone that has been before. You may contact us and we will provide you with a day and time that a group is scheduled to be out so that you may join them. Once you have been out the first time your hesitations will go away! 40 Days for Life is the FIRST TIME that MANY people come to pray at an abortion facility.

Who can participate?

Anyone! This is an interdenominational effort, a call to bring the body of Christ together. Typically churches or groups will participate as a whole.

  • On top of participating as a whole church, groups within the church may choose to adopt their own day or time. Youth groups, Bible studies, choir groups, young adults, Knights of Columbus councils, etc.
  • You may choose to form your own group that adopts a full or partial day.
  • Or you may just be getting started and not have a group, so you may participate as an individual.

Can I bring my children?

Absolutely! There have been many youth and smaller children that come out to pray with us. Some people like to come as a family and bring a wagon, snacks and coloring books for the little ones. We encourage adults with children to stay on the grassy lot. However, if you decide to pray in front of Delta please keep a close watch on your children because the road is not far from the sidewalk.

How often can I come out to the prayer vigil?

As often as you want! Typically, a church or group will "adopt-a-day" (or days) and take sign-ups to cover the hours from 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM. This is very flexible - come on your church's day and then know that for the entire 40 days there will be people out there and you are welcome to just show up. There will always be gaps that need to be filled - so we can use all of the volunteers that we can get. Please check the vigil calendar to see what hours are open and not adopted.

Where do we stand?

It's important that you only stand on the sidewalk in front of the Delta abortion facility or on the public servitude. The public servitude is the grassy area between the sidewalk and the street. (Please review the vigil site map.)

DO NOT STAND ON DELTA’S PARKING LOT OR DRIVEWAY. You may walk across Delta’s driveway in order to cross over. DO NOT LINGER ON THE DRIVEWAY AND OBSTRUCT MOVING CARS.

How long do we stay?

We ask that each participant commit to at least one hour. You are welcome to stay as long as you want and chances are that you will be helping to fill in gaps if you do. Some prayer volunteers travel a long distance so stay for a few hours if you can. There are also days you may want to come but haven't signed up beforehand, come anyway!

What about signs?

You may bring signs. The signs should bear ONLY POSITIVE and ENCOURAGING MESSAGES AND IMAGES.
Graphic imagery is NOT HELPFUL OUTSIDE OF THE ABORTION FACILITY FOR MANY REASONS.

What about the weather?

Rain, sleet or hail, we'll be there! Use good judgment if it is very severe weather.

Will I have any interaction with the patients going into the abortion facility?

Most likely you will not. The way the area is designed, patients park in a lot on the building's property. They will see us standing out on the sidewalk as they drive into the parking lot but they will be a distance from us in most cases. Some participants may wish to hold signs that offer help which increase the chances of interaction. Otherwise it is very unlikely.

**We discourage participants from attempting sidewalk counseling. Sidewalk counseling is reserved for those with specific training in this ministry.

What if a patient does come to me for help or to talk?

We will have the contact information for local pro-life pregnancy counseling centers available in the vigil supply box that will be on the sidewalk. They include:

  • Woman’s New Life Center – (225) 663-6470 | 760 Colonial Drive NEXT DOOR TO DELTA abortion facility. They will be opening soon! http://www.womansnewlife.com/
  • Pregnancy Problem Center - (225) 924-1400 | 4724 Jamestown Avenue located off Bennington Avenue, near College Drive and I-10 http://www.pregnancyproblemcenterbr.com/
  • Caring to Love Ministries - (225) 273-1124 | 3813 N. Flannery Road located north of Florida Boulevard and South Choctaw Drive http://www.ctlm.org/
  • North Baton Rouge Women's Help Center - (225) 359-9001 | 7515 Scenic Highway located north of Airline Highway near Southern University http://nbrwhc.org/

**Please remember to not touch the patient or anyone with the patient or Delta staff. A well-intentioned pat on the shoulder or hand may be misconstrued and viewed as a hostile or offensive gesture.

Will there be any opposition while I am out there?

The opposition you most likely face is very mild. Participants have found that there is much more support than opposition. If you face the road you will occasionally notice certain finger gestures and maybe hear the occasional "go home!"

You will mostly hear honks from supporters and receive thumbs up! The abortion facility is located in an office park so there are a few people that use the sidewalk where you will be standing. It is always best to politely move for them to pass. If a passerby wants to have a dialogue, just remember to keep it peaceful. If you do not want to have a dialogue, politely tell them that you are praying. Again, the likelihood of interaction is rare.

What are the after hours bathroom and/or food options?

We have listed below a few of the options that are close to the vigil site.

East Baton Rouge Parish Library-(1/2 mile west of vigil site)
7711 Goodwood Blvd
(225) 231-3700
Sun 2:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Mon-Fri 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
Sat 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

Goodwood Grill-(.2 miles east of vigil site)
8558 Goodwood Blvd
(225) 927-7550
Mon-Fri 10:30 am-8:00 pm
Sat. 10:30 am-5:00 pm
Sun. Closed

Whole Foods-(1.6 miles south of vigil site)
7529 Corporate Blvd
(225) 218-0452
Sun. – Sat. 8:00 AM – 10 PM Daily

Subway-(1.17 miles east of vigil site)
7970 Jefferson Highway, Ste A
(225) 925-3278
Sun 9 am – 9 pm
Mon-Thurs 7 am – 10 pm
Fri 7 am – 9 pm
Sat 8 am – 9 pm

Le Madeleine-(2.1 miles south of vigil site)
7615 Jefferson Highway
(225) 927-6072
Sun. - Sat. 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM Daily

May we take photographs of our participants?

Yes! Please try to take pictures of your group and forward them to me. It is a wonderful reminder of your group's participation in this effort. Please DO NOT TAKE PICTURES OF THOSE SEEKING SERVICES AT DELTA.

What about the laws?

"The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the 'freedom of speech.' The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that peaceful communication - such as spoken words, display of signs and leafleting - are all protected forms of free speech, especially in public places like sidewalks and parks. The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that speech cannot be censored simply because the speaker's message irritates or offends a listener." (prolifeaction.org source cited).

40 Days for Life has a good relationship with the Baton Rouge Police department. It is our goal to have a peaceful and safe campaign. We do not anticipate that you will encounter any problems but the police are there if we need them.

Who sponsors 40 Days for Life Baton Rouge locally?

This is an interdenominational project of the Office of Marriage and Family Life/Diocese of Baton Rouge AND Baton Rouge Right to Life. All services of the Baton Rouge leadership and 40 Days for Life participants are volunteer. This is a labor of love for the Lord and for the gift of life he has given to us. However, we have expenses for materials including printing, paper, and signs among others to execute this campaign.

If you would like to make a financial contribution to cover such operating expenses for the Baton Rouge campaign, please send a check to Baton Rouge Right to Life and annotate "for 40 DFL-Baton Rouge."

Baton Rouge Right to Life
P.O. Box 86005
Baton Rouge, LA 70879

Contact:
Deacon Mike Chiappetta at (225) 242-0135 or 40daysforlifebr@gmail.com.

Thank you for participating in the peaceful prayer, fasting, vigil and outreach activities of 40 Days for Life Baton Rouge. Together we will bring an end to the tragedy of abortion.