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PRO-LIFE `CHAIN' SET FOR OCT. 4

Pro-life supporters will join hands and make a "life chain" along the streets of downtown Salt Lake City as part of a nationwide demonstration against abortion Sunday, Oct. 4.

The Salt Lake Christian Action Council is hosting the multidenominational event, which will start at the Utah Women's Health Care Center, a state licensed abortion clinic located at 515 S. 400 East. But local organizers of the event stressed that they have no intention to block access to the center. "This is absolutely not an `Operation Rescue' mission," said Debbie Ashman, director of the Salt Lake Christian Action Committee. "This is simply a pro-life community statement . . . Some people (may be) in favor of blocking access, but that's not our purpose."

Ashman said demonstrators, which will line up holding signs that say "abortion kills children," will not be on the clinic's property or block access to it or any intersections or walkways. The clinic, Ashman pointed out, is closed on Sunday anyway.

Demonstrators in other cities will also make life chains that day from 2 to 3 p.m. However, in Utah the time was changed - 1 to 3 p.m. - to accommodate those attending LDS General Conference. (The Sunday afternoon conference session is from 2 to 4 p.m.)

Organizers believe the chain will unify the state and community by enabling pro-life supporters to see "there are still people that feel that (same) way," Ashman said. They are encouraging supporters from every religion to attend.

"It's a human issue, not a religious issue," said Pastor Bill Upton, regional presbyter of the Southern Utah Section of the Assembly of God Church.

"This is an excellent legal way to stand up for what's right," said Pastor John Rogers of the Faith Baptist Church in Spanish Fork. "The issue is truth. That's what's bringing so many groups (together) here. Abortion is murder," he said.

"Let us affirm the worth of life by standing together in a life chain," said BYU professor Lynn Wardle, a member of Americans United for Life.

The chain will proceed east along 500 South from the women's center to 700 East, and then head south on 700 East to Liberty Park. A rally is planned afterward at the park.