More than 900 Cities Participate in National Life Chain Event

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 6, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

More than 900 Cities Participate in National Life Chain Event

by Maria Gallagher Staff Writer
October 6, 2003

Yorkville, IL ( — In cities and towns across the nation over the weekend, children, teenagers, parents, grandparents, and others formed a human chain to show their commitment to the sanctity of human life.

Turnout for the annual Life Chain event was strong in a number of areas, attracting widespread media attention. But in some towns, pro-life activists report turnout was
disappointing this year.

In the greater Chicago area, members of ten Kendall County churches lined a busy intersection in Yorkville in a silent protest against abortion. Similar demonstrations were held in Aurora and downtown Chicago.

Pastor Rick Thiemke of the New Life Church in Yorkville told a local newspaper, "No matter what your faith, you can’t believe in the scripture and the Bible and morally support abortion. Christians believe God gives life, and only God should take life."

An organizer of the Yorkville event said that about 90 percent of the passersby seemed to support the demonstration, with many drivers honking their horns or giving the thumbs-up sign. She conceded, though, that not all the reaction was positive–not surprising, given the many misconceptions about legalized abortion.

Some Life Chain participants expressed hope that the approval of a federal ban on partial-birth abortion will be the beginning of the end of legal abortion in the U.S.

"God willing, that will be the first step toward banning abortion altogether," Pastor Bob Johnson of the Cornerstone Church in Sandwich, Illinois told the Beacon-News.

In Indiana, more than 400 people from 18 churches turned out for the Life Chain in Greater Lafayette, while in California, several thousand people showed up to stand along the Highway 20 corridor in Yuba City and Marysville to show their support.

In Quad Cities, Iowa, response to the Life Chain was good. 

WHBF-TV reported that more than 200 people lined a road in Bettendorf, Iowa to spotlight what organizers described as "the violence pre-born babies suffer everyday from abortions." Participants noted that their aim was not to attack other people’s pro-abortion beliefs, but to call attention to the need to protect children.

The television station quoted one participant as saying, "We want people to really think about the issue and think about the simple message we see over and over, and that is, abortion kills children." This year marked the 13th time that Quad City Right to Life has taken part in the Life Chain.

The scene was much the same in Savannah, Georgia, where WTOC-TV reported that dozens of people turned out to show their opposition to abortion. The demonstrators held signs reading, "Abortion Kills Children," and "Abortion Hurts Women," along with signs proclaiming adoption as the loving option for mothers who don’t believe they can raise their babies on their own.

Responding to a pro-abortion supporter who claimed that some people shouldn’t have children, pro-life activist Bob Kennedy said, "We live in a free society so we have (as much) right to show our support for human life as they do for abortion."

In Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the annual Life Chain attracts some 2,000 people each year, indicating the strength of the pro-life movement there. But in some other Pennsylvania towns, this year’s turnout was disappointing.

One participant in the Perry County, Pennsylvania, Life Chain noted that her contingent was quite small this year–so small, in fact, that she wondered whether the chain should have taken place at all. "I think this is just another notch in the pro-abortion side’s belt," she said.

One pro-life leader in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was also disappointed with turnout there, although pleased that the majority of those who did show up were high school students. "While we were small in number, it’s good that the teenagers turned out, since they are being targeted by the abortion industry in Pennsylvania," she said.

More than 900 cities and towns around the country took part in the event, which is billed as a peaceful, prayerful witness to the holocaust of abortion. Participants are urged to spend their time in prayer and quiet meditation on the horror of abortion, and what they can do to promote a culture of life.

Other places will take part in the national Life Chain next weekend.