Published: Monday, October 8, 2007
In stand against abortion, residents form Life Chain
Life Chain is in its 20th year nationally.
By LAURE CIOFFI
WARREN Debbie Thornton is thankful that the birth mothers of her seven adopted children didn't choose abortion.
That's why she and the children spent Sunday afternoon on Elm Street holding signs opposing abortion at the annual Life Chain event.
"We're a family of adoption, and we feel this is very important," said Thornton, of Cortland. "I think a lot of their birth mothers are also thankful they didn't make that choice."
The Thorntons, who attend First Church of the Nazarene in Warren, were among the estimated 700 to 800 people from about 40 churches who spent an hour in prayer just over a mile along Elm Street from Warren G. Harding High School to the Dairy Queen.
"It's just a peaceful, prayerful protest," said Jim Earl, coordinator of the Warren Life Chain event.
Participants held signs in English and Spanish stating "Abortion Hurts Women, Kills Babies" and "God Forgives." The back of each sign gave protesters prayers, songs and rules of conduct for the Life Chain. Most stood silently as cars passed between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. and others vocally prayed.
Tamara Sanders of Howland, her husband and eight of her 10 children were among those lined along Elm.
"If it helps one person, it helps one person," she said of her participation. Sanders, who is a member of Queen of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Vienna, has been participating in Life Chain for several years.
The Rev. Lynn Nichols of First Church of the Nazarene said his intention during Life Chain was to pray about abortion and other issues affecting the country.
"We really don't want to condemn, but plant a seed and get people to think," the Rev. Mr. Nichols said.
Earl said there is a core of about 600 people who have attended every Warren Life Chain event for the past 17 years. In the early years they often attracted more than 1,000 people.
A Life Chain event in Youngstown on Sunday attracted 23 people from eight congregations who lined up on Market Street at Midlothian Boulevard.
Coordinator Donald Priester said there were good reactions from passing motorists who were beeping and waving.
Priester said there will be several buses from the Mahoning Valley going to the Jan. 22 March for Life in Washington, D.C., the next large event for abortion protesters.