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Area residents take part in Life Chain events

October 04, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

A few hundred people lined Lincoln Way East and Second Street in Chambersburg, Pa., on Sunday afternoon to form a human cross and protest abortion at the 10th annual National Life Chain.

"We've had more thumbs up than thumbs down and those little birdies that fly through," said Debbie Hainey of Greencastle, Pa., referring to obscene hand gestures. She was holding a sign saying "Adoption: The Loving Option."

"Pregnancy is not a choice. It's the result of a choice," Hainey said.

"I like to be part of helping people find a solution to the guilt and depression they are feeling ... and the answer is Jesus Christ," said Michael Snively of Waynesboro, Pa.

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"The trauma of post-abortion is something we don't hear much about, but it's very real," said Snively, who held one sign declaring, "Abortion Kills Children," and another reading, "Lord, Forgive Us and Our Nation."

Sherry Cline of Waynesboro, president of Franklin County Pennsylvanians for Human Life, said about 300 people took part in Sunday's event from 2 to 3 p.m. She said participation was down from 2003, which she said could be due to the road reconstruction along Lincoln Way.

Traffic was heavy, and some motorists honked and waved as they passed the Life Chain participants.

More than 700 communities across the nation participated in the Life Chain, Cline said.

Rob Smith, the Life Chain coordinator in Hagerstown, said about 200 people stood along Dual Highway on the east side of the city for the event.

"The majority of the reaction was very positive," Smith said of the motorists who passed along the route. Smith, who has participated in the event for the past nine years, said the only counterdemonstration he could recall was about five years ago when a group of about 10 members of the National Organization of Women were present.

In Berkeley Springs, W.Va., about 65 people took part in the Life Chain vigil, according to Curtis Perry of West Virginians for Life.

"We got a lot of people beeping, a lot of thumbs up" as participants stood along U.S. 522, Perry said.

Smith said the Life Chain is held the first Sunday in October every year. The message, he said, is as much about changing hearts and minds as laws.

"Mothers have a very deep natural love ... somewhat like the love God has for us," said Smith. "I'm afraid through abortion we're losing that."

"We can't look for our political leaders to outlaw abortion," Smith said. "We have to zero in on each home and be better parents, and help our daughters and sons make the right decisions."

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