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Life Chain event to raise awareness

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

This Sunday marks the 25th anniversary of the Fort Scott Chapter of Kansans for Life's Life Chain and volunteer coordinator Dara Leaming hopes a large following will come together for the event, which aims to raise awareness of abortion.

Supporters will form a human chain from 1818 S. Main St., extending north as far as they can go with the number of people who show up. Turnout has ranged from 70-125 people in past gatherings.

"It just varies," Leaming said. "One year we were able to stretch out almost even with the new Walmart from Shepherd's (Team Auto Plaza)."

She added that the first Sunday in October is the suggested day for the event, not just nationally, but internationally as well. National Life Chain suggests that day, but individual communities can pick the best day for their towns or cities.

Those interested should meet at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at First Southern Baptist Church, 1818 S. Main St., but Leaming notes that the event is in no way denominational.

"We have people from all different churches and people that are not church members that show up, because they too care about the unborn," Leaming said. "It's not a particular denomination or sponsored by a denomination at all; it's for anyone who cares about the unborn child."

Leaming said they will meet at First Baptist where their signs are stored and go over some rules for participants. One of the rules Leaming mentioned is that the group must stay off the curb.

"We don't want to block any businesses that are open," Leaming said. "Just common sense sort of things. But it is okay to wave at people. Obviously, we don't respond if we have someone say something crude. It's supposed to be mainly an hour of prayer for the unborn children and that hearts will be changed by this and the signs and just by the fact that all of these people out there are in support of caring about the pre-born child."

At 2 p.m. they will cross the road as a group to line up on the east side of the road and remain for an hour, she said.

"We always contact the police and they are very gracious and send someone to hold traffic so we can cross," Leaming said.

She added that the purpose of the chain is to garner support and educate the public about the group's stance.

"The different techniques of abortion are so heinous," Leaming said. "They are cruel and studies show now that pre-born children do experience pain. So we are trying to educate people and let them know that the pre-born child is very important and their life is a life."

Leaming said they have had little opposition in the past.

"I have seen so more much support from people driving by, a lot more people honk and wave or give us the thumbs up," Leaming said. "We have seen a lot fewer incidences where people have actually said anything or yelled anything negative."

Leaming said it's important to realize that one person does matter and their presence makes a difference.

"You might be the person that someone driving by knows and if they see you there they can say, 'Oh, that's somebody I could talk to.' Or even seeing that sign that you are holding, because the signs say various things -- they might say 'Well, I'd like to talk to them about that and see why they are there.'"

She added that participating does not require much of a person's Sunday.

"We stand there from two to three," Leaming said. "So it doesn't take a lot of time out of one's life to promote the sanctity of life for these children."

And although the forecast is good for Sunday afternoon, Leaming isn't too concerned with the weather. "We leave that to the Lord," Leaming said. "We've stood out there in rain and we've stood out there in cold. We've stood out there in heat and God has just graciously granted us good weather most of the years, but we care enough; we will be out there no matter what."

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