Anti-abortion group to form Life Chain along Route 140 Sunday

September 30, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

For one hour Sunday, a Life Chain of men, women and children will line Route 140 at Crossroads Square Shopping Center, while its participants pray silently for an end to abortion in America.

The chain is to form at 2 p.m. and is one of 300 planned across the nation during October, designated as "Respect Life Month" by church-based anti-abortion groups.

Although they will carry placards that say "Abortion Kills Children," organizers said they are not staging a protest.

"This is not a protest, just a get-together to pray," said Patricia Fisher, who has organized the second annual event in Westminster for Carroll County Pro Life. "We will pray silently for our country, for parents and for the babies who have died of abortion over the past 22 years."

Ms. Fisher, a member of St. John Catholic Church, has invited congregations of 35 area churches to participate in the chain. Last year, about 200 people participated.

Ms. Fisher said she expects that many or more this year. She said she has 300 signs ready, but is not concerned with numbers.

L "Even if we only have 15 people, we will be fine," she said.

Ms. Fisher will lead the opening prayer -- "a simple request that God be with us" -- and conclude with the Lord's Prayer.

Out of "respect for the many different faiths we represent," she will ask for silent prayers during the event. She encourages chain members to bring prayer books, Bibles and rosaries.

"We want people to see us as a group of people who feel strongly about pro-life matters," she said. "We won't picket or stop traffic, but with our silence, we will be doing what we feel we should. We may not change anyone's heart."

Along with the invitations, she included a code of conduct that asks that participants meet any protests from passing motorists "with silence and kind smile that expresses our inner peace."

"We will ignore heckling as well as those who give us a thumbs-up," she said. "No response is necessary."

Last year, two representatives of the Maryland Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights staged a counter-demonstration in the highway median. Ms. Fisher said she does not know if that group plans to return to Westminster Sunday.

"It is their right to protest," she said. "There is no reason for us to be hostile to those who don't agree with us."

She asks all participants to pray that the nation "can work to see that all life, from conception to natural death, may be held sacred."

All are welcome to join the chain, she said. Information: 876-1261.

In Taneytown, the West Carroll County Life Chain is to form at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 9 at the intersection of Baltimore and York streets.

Organizer Vincent Perticone said the third annual "peaceful stand of solidarity" provides a powerful visual statement of the participants' resolve.

& Information: 751-1712.

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