On Sunday, Oct. 3, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., pro-lifers throughout the United States and Canada formed more than 863 human “Life Chains”.

Lining the streets of pre-determined busy intersections, people of all ages — including families, priests, pastors and youth ministers of every faith — gathered in what they called a silent, prayerful demonstration for an end to abortion, for its victims, for the inner healing of mothers who have felt driven to choose this option, and for repentance and forgiveness for personal failings in aiding the victims of abortion.

Life Chain sites were chosen because of their proximity to abortion clinics or to Planned Parenthood offices where either abortions or active abortion referrals are conducted.

In addition to uniting local citizens in public prayer, national director Royce Dunn says its purpose is to peacefully remind people that abortions are occuring in their own neighborhoods and to encourage them to pray and act on this issue as well. Life Chain events are held on the first Sunday of October every year.

“I think this is a moral obligation and an outward sign of love for the unborn children and for the people who are going through this,” explained Catholic participant, Joe Lupo.

“An overwhelming majority of people who drove by gave us thumbs-up enthusiastic suppport, so I think there's an overwhelming public support for this effort,” he said.

Pastor Steve DeNicola from Calvary Community Church in Mission Viejo, Calif., agreed. “I noticed that probably 80% of those who passed by gave us a positive response by honking enthusiastically and showing a thumbs-up sign.”

But he also noted the internal pain that this issue brings up for people.

“Abortion is an issue that hits the core of our being. For some people who drive by, it brings up some very painful memories and experiences. It allows us to see the pain of regret and heartache of some passer-bys that one wouldn't normally notice if they saw someone in a store or different situation.”

For him, as for others, participating in Life Chain “is a very prayerful experience.”