Church members lined the street in front of the Longview Mall on Sunday from McCann to Judson roads where they hoped the message they carried would touch someone.
Members from about 25 area churches stood with thousands of pro-lifers across the nation during the 22nd Annual Life Chain to raise awareness and spread their message every child has a right to life.
In Hallsville, another 40 or 50 people joined in the cause, lining U.S. 80 in the city’s downtown area.
“The reason I am here is if we influence one pregnant woman to save that baby’s life, then it is worthwhile,” Tom Mittler, 59, president of Right to Life East Texas, said while standing in front of Longview Mall.
Those participating silently prayed while holding signs designed to voice their opposition against abortion and to spread the message that there are alternatives.
“There are so many people that cannot have children and so many options to aborting a child. They could give the baby to someone who would love and take care of the child,” Phyllis Cox, 64, White Oak resident and member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Longview, said.
Mittler said there are times when fathers are left out of the decision and do not know the child was aborted.
Mittler said on Sunday night he planned to talk with the youth of his church, St. Matthews Catholic Church, to teach them the importance of making wise choices that would not lead to pregnancy.
“I am going to give them the message on chastity and abstinence. If they listened to that, there would not be a need for abortion,” Mittler said.
Jim Johnson, pastor of Fellowship Bible Church, in Longview, said women who find themselves in crisis from an unwanted pregnancy can seek help from organizations that will guide them through the pregnancy, and help arrange adoption if that is the mother’s desire.
Many unmarried people are sexually active when they should not be, Johnson said.
“The scriptures call us to a higher level of morality,” he said.
Sunday’s Life Chain event also was designed to bring attention to the number of abortions performed each year, Johnson said.
“There is not a magic bullet to this situation. Abortion is a very simple, but very poor, solution to a complex problem,” Johnson said.
Susan Wells, 56, of Longview and a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, said she participated to bring awareness that there are choices, other than abortion.
“There are alternatives to abortion, alternatives to killing children. Every child is a gift from God,” Wells said.