Standing up for life on roads may give motorists cause for prayer

Shelley Lindell braved the heat in Aiken on Oct. 6 to stand along a road holding a sign that read “Adoption: The loving option.”

She joined hundreds of people across the diocese in the national Life Chain, traditionally held on the first Sunday of October. Participants of all faiths bear witness along busy thoroughfares for an hour, holding signs with pro-life slogans and offering silent prayers.

Lindell, a mother of 10 who attends Our Lady of the Valley Church in Gloverville, says the simple act has an impact.

“It’s important that people see friends and neighbors from their own community taking a stand against abortion,” she said. “It makes people think. Abortion is like a slap in the face to God, saying ‘no’ to his gifts.”

The Aiken event drew about 60 people. The numbers varied by location but most participants said it was a positive experience. Forty people turned out in Columbia, 30 in Rock Hill, 61 in McCormick, and 118 in Georgetown.

More than 300 crowded along Woodruff Road near Interstates 85 and 385 in Greenville. Only five people took part in Gaffney, but organizer Anna Daniel said it can still make a big impact. In Charleston, 78 people held signs on Savannah Highway, said coordinator Clare Richter.

“The rains stopped about two hours before the Life Chain, thanks to our Blessed Mother,” Mrs. Richter said. “Traffic was heavy and many of our neighbors saw our commitment to protect human life.”

Myrtle Beach’s Chain drew 160 people, said John Kost, president of Grand Strand Citizens for Life.

Years ago, the event would often draw many negative responses, he said, but recently more motorists either honk their horn or show a thumbs-up in support.

“It offers presence and visibility for the pro-life effort,” Kost said. “It’s not just words that people hear and discard. They see signs that spell out that abortion is murder and show there are options like adoption. I think more and more people are seeing the light of what’s really going on with the abortion industry.”

Terry Borkes, a member of St. Michael Church in Garden City, stood along U.S. 17 with 72 other people, most of them Catholic. The crowd was diverse in age, including youth, young adults, young families and senior citizens.

Borkes has participated in Life Chain for 25 years, first in New Jersey and now South Carolina.

“I believe in continuing to stand up for life, for the unborn and the elderly and everybody in between,” she said. “If we touched just one person with one sign we held, or through our conviction to be out there, it was worth it.”

Two cities will hold their Life Chains at later dates: Beaufort on Oct. 27 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Ribaut Road at Boundary Street; and Sumter, 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Nov. 3 on Broad Street at Alice Drive.

Read more about Catholics like you by subscribing to The Catholic Miscellany