Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 11, 1999
Lest we forget
Life chain keeps abortion alive in public mind
By LELLA BLUMER
Special to the WCR
More than 200 people lined 149th Street and Stony Plain Road in Edmonton on Oct. 3 to show their support for the unborn.
Parents and children, single people, young and old were part of the "life chain", an annual event organized in cities around the world by local pro-life groups. Alberta Pro-Life Edmonton has organized a life chain for the past 10 years, close to the Morgentaler clinic in west Edmonton.
"We're here because . . . people think the abortion issue is dead but it's not. We want to let them know that we're still fighting for the unborn," says Vicki Beier, who took part in the demonstration, along with her husband Maurice and their five children.
Alberta Pro-Life President Joanne Hatton says the demonstration aims to raise public awareness.
"It's to remind people that there are lots of us out there that think the unborn need our protection - it's a kind of witness."
Although Hatton says she would like to see thousands of people, rather than hundreds, take part in the life chain, the line of people managed to cover several blocks surrounding the busy intersection.
Carrying signs reading "Abortion Kills Children," "Abortion Hurts Women" and "Jesus Forgives and Heals," the group drew a largely positive response from passing motorists.
Lorinda Zamrykut says she's taken part in demonstrations in other cities, and was surprised at the positive reaction she received here. The 19-year-old University of Alberta student says she learned about the demonstration that morning through her church bulletin, and decided to go.
"People are very supportive . . . there are a lot of thumbs-up and a lot of smiles. I think I've only seen one thumbs-down so far."
Hatton says she feels attitudes about abortion are changing, although it's a slow process.
"It's not going to change overnight, but I think people are getting the message.
"They used to buy all the lies about abortion - that it was rare and that it was only used to save a woman's life. But I think people are slowly beginning to realize that this is really just a slaughter.
"Women can get an abortion for whatever reason, they can get as many as they want, and often it's under pressure from their families, or their boyfriends."
Still, it's easy for pro-life activists to get discouraged, Hatton says, because of recent court decisions against the unborn, and the "reluctance of politicians to utter the word, much less do anything about it.
"But we have to keep at it."
Rita Vandenbrink has been at it for the past three years. She and her family participate in the life chain because "we think it's important."
"I think abortion is wrong and that's why we're here. I want people to think about it as they're driving by.
"I'm always surprised at the number of people honking (their support), and today I'm really surprised at the number of people with men in the car who are honking."