NEW YORK — Ann Cook said the annual life chain in Long Island usually receives a lot of mixed reactions from people as they pass by, but for some reason during this past weekend's National Life Chain event, she saw a more positive response from the public.
"There were a lot of honks in support," Cook, a chairperson for Stand Up for Life Committee of the Long Island Coalition for Life, told The Christian Post.
She joined around 750 other pro-life advocates from the community and local churches around the Huntington area in Long Island on Sunday to participate in the annual nationwide life chain event to witness to the sanctity of life.
And they were just one part of the life chain. Millions of pro-life advocates, Christians, and churches from over 1,300 cities in the United States and Canada also stood in peaceful protest against abortion on the 20th anniversary of National Life Chain.
Participants in Long Island held signs reading "Love them both" with a picture of a mother and child along and "Abortion Kills Children." Both messages were displayed in English and Spanish.
"Abortion is wrong and is killing an unborn child," said Cook. "I believe God is the Author of life and the Bible tells us that. I believe that life does begin at conception."
Meanwhile, organizers of the life chain in Albany said passersby who reacted gave them encouraging thumbs up gestures along with supportive honks, noting that only a few who reacted gave negative gestures.
Theresa Schweigert, administrative director of Citizens Concerned for Human Life, told The Christian Post that many people who saw pro-life supporters in front of a shopping mall at one of the two locations in Albany gave no reaction.
"It was like we were striking at the core of their conscience," said Schweigert of their indifference. "They didn't want to see us and just hoped we'd go away."
Even though most passersby were apathetic to their cause, Schweigert said it is her hope and that of other pro-lifers that they impact someone who may have an abortion scheduled for the next day to change her mind after seeing their witness.
According to Cook, many abortions take place because women are "misinformed" and "miseducated" about the sanctity of life and the dangers of abortion. She also added that the church is also largely responsible because it has not been "strong enough in proclaiming the message."
However, she hoped that the life chain would remind women that there is "help and healing" available to them if they find themselves with an unplanned pregnancy. Cook pointed to Life Center of Long Island, a pregnancy center where women can receive support such as financial assistance, medical care, clothing, housing accommodations, and job referrals.
Pro-lifers at the Albany life chain proposed adoption as an alternative to abortion as they held up signs reading "Adoption: the loving option."
"We do have faith that somebody was touched yesterday," said Schweigert.
An alternative date for various locations participating in the national life chain is Oct. 28.