Thousands of pro-lifers stood outside in all kinds of weather Sunday to pray for unborn babies and their mothers.
People gathered in about 1,600 communities in the United States and Canada for the annual Life Chain, according to organizers. The event brings pro-lifers together in their local communities to pray for an end to abortion and peacefully witness to the truth about life in the womb.
In West Reading, Pennsylvania, about 75 people stood on the sidewalks in the rain, holding signs encouraging mothers to choose life, the Reading Eagle reports.
“We got rained on quite well but people stayed and that’s the important part,” organizer Pam Snyder told the newspaper. “They believe in the message, the truth about abortion, that it hurts women and kills children.”
Sharron Albertson, a national Life Chain coordinator, said they hear stories every year about how the events impact lives.
Albertson told LifeNews about one local coordinator’s story: “One year when I was beginning to question if being part of a Life Chain was worth the time, a woman stopped and asked who was in charge. The participants pointed to me and the woman came over and said, ‘See that little person in the back seat. I decided not to have an abortion because you all were here a couple years ago.’ She hugged me and got back in her card and drove off before I could think of anything to say.”
Peaceful witnessing is a key part of the Life Chain. The events typically are held along busy roadways in the communities where pro-lifers hold signs that raise awareness about unborn babies, pregnancy resources and more.
SUPPORT LIFENEWS! If you like this pro-life article, please help LifeNews.com with a donation!
In Temple and Belton in Texas, more than 50 people lined the streets of the towns with signs that read “Jesus forgives and heals” and “Adoption, the loving option,” according to the Temple Daily Telegram.
Organizers in Melbourne, Florida, said their Life Chain had one of the highest turnouts ever. According to Florida Today, an estimated 531 people lined New Haven Avenue in the city, holding signs and praying for unborn babies and mothers.
“There are more and more people who are becoming pro-life,” organizer John Boyd said. “This is one of our highest turnouts.”
The local news outlets noted that the Life Chains were peaceful, respectful events.
“Mostly we’ve gotten a lot of thumbs up,” fellow Melbourne organizer Lisa Byl said.
About 100 people in Winchester, Virginia, also stood in the rain to be a voice for unborn babies in their local community, The Winchester Star reports.
“You don’t realize what you’re missing until a child is in your life,” local resident Annette Canan said.
Maria Canan, 13, said she wants to be a voice for the unborn, in part, because of her own story. She said she was adopted from China.
“Whoever put me up for adoption saved my life,” Maria said. “That means a lot.”
Frances Moyer, an organizer of the Virginia rally, said they want to offer compassion and support to women, too.
“We have a heart for women who are suffering and feel they are forced to kill their children, and we have a heart for those 50 million babies who have died since 1973 in this country alone,” she said.
Every year, nearly 900,000 unborn children are killed in legal abortions in America, and organizers said the Life Chains are one small step toward ending the violence.
In New Castle, Pennsylvania, people of all ages gathered at the Life Chain to be voices for life, according to New Castle News. The signs that they held included messages like “Abortion Kills Children,” “Lord, Forgive Us And Our Nation” and “Abortion Hurts Women.”
“From the very young to the very old, life We’re here to fight a battle,” organizer Karen Hamrick said. “We’re not political, but our battle is fought in the heavenly because we’re not warring against flesh and blood…We’re using the best weapon that there is and that is prayer.”
The Life Chain began more than 30 years ago in California, and quickly grew into a national and international event with communities in Canada and the United States participating.
While Life Chains are promoted as religious, prayer-oriented events, organizers said they also welcome non-religious pro-lifers to participate. Participants are encouraged to pray and/or solemnly reflect on the violence of abortion in a public place where they can witness to the truth about abortion in their community.
More than 61 million unborn babies have been aborted legally in the United States since 1973. In September, the Guttmacher Institute reported 862,320 abortions in 2017, the most recent numbers available.