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Right to Life movement hosts annual "life chain"

PLATTSBURGH Pro-life supporters lined Smithfield Boulevard carrying signs with varied wording but the same message end abortion. Supporters of Champlain Valley Right to Life, an organization which opposes abortion, gathered as part of their participation in the annual Life Chain held nationwide Oct. 5. Wanda Gaffney, co-organizer of the local Life Chain, said the event has been held locally since 1994 as a means to spread the organizations anti-abortion message. We line up on the sidewalk in a chain on Smithfield Boulevard for an hour and promote awareness about how abortion kills children, explained Gaffney. The first year we had about 1,000 people but that was probably because it was our first year. We usually have about 125-150 people. That amount was the same this year, with nearly 150 turning out for the event. Athelie Lashway of Plattsburgh was among those attending the event, holding a sign which read Abortion Kills Children. Its very important, Lashway said of the demonstration. We need to speak out, especially when we know its wrong to have abortions. Lashway, who is a mother of six with tons of grandchildren, said her children and grandchildren have been raised with the belief abortion is wrong, but said she wants others to share her view as well. I dont think some of the kids really realize what theyre doing, Lashway said. Chastity is very important. We have six children and 14 grandkids, so of course, were pro-life, Gaffney said. And, this year is important because of the national election. We need people to vote pro-life. The first Life Chain was held in 1987, when Please Let Me Live, a small pro-life ministry based in Yuba City, Calif., stood publicly for one hour, holding pro-life signs and conducting prayers. More than 2,000 people participated in the event, with attendance growing in subsequent years. The event grew into a movement that was hosted by thousands of Christian groups across the United States and into Canada every year on the first Sunday in October.

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