Standing on busy sidewalks and town squares across the country, more than 100,000 Americans urged their communities to recognize the value of unborn babies’ lives.
The annual Life Chain, held on the first Sunday in October every year, celebrated its 30th year on Sunday with approximately 1,600 events in communities across the United States and Canada. The pro-life event is a peaceful rally that calls people to pray for an end to abortion and raise awareness about its devastating effects on our culture.
Many of the pro-life advocates had personal experiences that brought them out to the sidewalks.
A crowd of pro-lifers in Plattsburgh, New York received a mixed response to their prayers and signs that read “Abortion Kills Children.” Some people in the public waved in support, while others seemed angry or upset by the signs.
The Press Republican reports Kasia Dasilva, one of about 60 people who participated in the event, said she was standing there because of her children.
“I had three disabled children in a row,” Dasilva said. “They taught me so much about life.”
Len Kobylus also had a very personal reason for participating in the Life Chain in Salisbury, North Carolina – his grandson.
Kobylus told the Salisbury Post that his daughter got pregnant in high school and considered having an abortion. But because of her family’s support, she chose life for her son; now, Kobylus said his daughter is pursuing a doctorate degree and his 16-year-old grandson is starting to look at colleges.
“Every year that we can make it, we come out and pray for the unborn,” he said. “We understand that God, luckily, gave us the strength to make the right decision.”
Winnie Charles, of Sparta, New Jersey, told the New Jersey Herald that a co-worker’s abortion deeply affected her several years ago. She said it prompted her to become more involved in the pro-life movement.
“I offered my apartment to her to come and live with me because she was afraid her family wouldn’t accept a child out of wedlock, but she personally chose to have an abortion, and with that she closed herself off to a lot of people who would have been able to support her as a friend,” Charles said. “Abortion hurts her and other women like her for years afterward when they realize what they have done, and that the choice they made eliminated a whole human being from the face of the Earth.”
Life Chains focus heavily on prayer, but many different Christian denominations unite for the Life Chains. In Winchester, Virginia, more than 100 people from various denominations prayed together for unborn babies and moms along a busy street, according to the Winchester Star.
People of all ages gathered along busy streets in Huntingdon, Kenova and Ashland, West Virginia with signs that read “Adoption the Loving Option” and “Abortion Kills Children.”
Rachel Rustad, 12, went to the Medford, Oregon rally with her family to stand up for unborn babies’ right to life, KDRV News reports.
“I don’t believe that abortion is right. We were all made in God’s image and every person was once a child,” Rustad said.
About 20 pro-life advocates participated in the Newton, New Jersey event. Though small in number, the participants said they were encouraged by drivers who waved or honked in support. They also said young people who stand up for life also give them hope.
“Every time I go [to the March for Life], I’m seeing more and more young people — the last time there had to be over 50 percent — and they’re the future of our movement,” New Jersey resident Jerry Woodring said. “It’s a slow process, but I think people’s minds and hearts are changing as they continue catching on to the truth about abortion.”