It’s been more than a year since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, but the abortion issue remains red hot at both the state and federal level. Battles rage on over an array of state abortion restrictions, the dangers of the abortion pill, and the civil liberties of pro-life activists.

But on Saturday, September 9, pro-life advocates across the country will focus on an aspect of abortion that hasn’t been reported since the fall of Roe: the fate of the 65 million unborn babies legally killed by abortion in the U.S. These victims of legal abortion will be memorialized during the 11th annual National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children with more than 200 prayer vigils at the gravesites of aborted babies and other memorial markers set up in their honor.

“On the National Day of Remembrance, we take stock of the real human cost of abortion,” said Eric J. Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League, one of the organizations sponsoring the Day of Remembrance. Scheidler says those costs include the tens of millions of lives cut short by abortion, as well as the burden of guilt and shame laid on their parents. “The National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children has become an important channel of healing for families hurt by abortion.”

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Scheidler shared the story of a grandmother who found out through an insurance bill that her first grandchild had been aborted. “This grandmother was so grateful for the opportunity to publicly mourn for her grandchild,” Scheidler recounted. “The Day of Remembrance was the first time she’d shared her sorrow with another living soul.”

The Day of Remembrance has also brought healing to countless women who have had abortions. One such woman named Erika told Scheidler, “I wept for my two babies whose lives were lost to abortion. But in the midst of my tears, I thanked Jesus for the hope I have, knowing I will see them again, and for the healing he has done in my life so I can use my story to bring the same healing to others.”

The more than 200 prayer services taking place in 40 states on the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children will feature testimonies from women like Erika who regret their abortions, reflections by clergy of various faiths, solemn music offered by local choirs, and other moving presentations.

“Even in states where unborn children are now protected by law, events like the Day of Remembrance continue,” Scheidler noted. “In fact, pro-lifers in these states are leading the way, showing the entire nation how we must confront all the harm abortion has done to our society—and ask for God’s forgiveness. Only then can we really move on and finally heal the wounds of abortion.”

The National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children has been held on the second Saturday of September since 2013. The event, sponsored by Citizens for a Pro-Life Society and the Pro-Life Action League, is intended to humanize the unborn victims of abortion by highlighting the fact that every abortion results in a dead body that must be disposed of. While most of these bodies are incinerated, thrown in the trash, or flushed down the drain, a tiny handful have been retrieved from trash bins, landfills, and pathology labs and given a proper burial.

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