On October 6, a cool, overcast Sunday afternoon, the intersection of Huron Parkway and Washtenaw Ave. in Ann Arbor was lined with over 250 pro-life activists for National Life Chain Sunday 2013. From 2 to 3:30 p.m., men, women, and children of all walks of life stood on the public sidewalks, holding signs including those which read “Women Do Regret Abortion,” “Adoption: The Loving Option,” “Defend Life,” as well as signs with numbers to various crisis pregnancy help lines.
“I think it’s important to put a smile, and a happiness, and a positive face to the pro life movement,” says Heidi Bratton, mother of 6, ranging from age 5 to 23. “Because life is good.”
Barb Brown, who works with the youth of Gabriel Richard High School in Ann Arbor agrees, and believes the public display of the Life Chain adds an important element in raising awareness of the cause and the issue at hand. “I think it’s important that an issue this big in our nation is kept in the eye of the public, and this is one of the most family friendly ways to do it,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be confrontational. It can be peaceful and prayerful.”
Here in Ann Arbor, pro-lifers are trying especially to reach the students of the University of Michigan. “We are here to stand up for life and for babies,” says Paul Dobrowolski, regional director for the Ann Arbor chapter of 40 Days for Life. “I believe this is the perfect place to be – right in the heart of liberal Midwest. We need to get the word out – there is a lot of laissez-faire feelings in this town, and we are here to get people motivated, and to let people know these are human beings in the womb.”
Half the crowd was young people, who believed their presence was just as important. “The young people are the fire, and I feel like when young people are out here, people can see it’s just not older people,” says Brigid Lennon, 17, of Ann Arbor.
Life Chain is devoted to prayer and peaceful, family-friendly protest. Life Chains occur in other nations on different dates, and all Chains make a point of remaining peaceful. More than 20,000 Chains have been held worldwide this far, and no known pro-lifer has been cited or arrested.
Ann Arbor’s Life Chain was one in over 1550 cities and towns in the U.S. and Canada, who, again this year, proclaimed the irrefutable message of the pro-life movement: Human life is to be valued and protected from the moment of conception. Participants credit the faithful assistance of God, and praise him with grateful hearts.