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PRESS REPUBLICAN

January 15, 2001

Walkers decry abortion

by Robin Loope

Contributing Writer

PLATTSBURGH- More than 200 people walked peacefully down the sidewalk along Broad Street on Sunday afternoon.

Men and women of all ages, some with their children, carried signs that spoke out against abortion.

One teenager held his sign up high for passing motorists as traffic slowed.

Participants in Champlain Valley Right to Life's 27th annual March for Life met briefly at the Newman Center at 90 Broad St. before beginning the walk to St. John's Church several blocks away. The event marks the Jan. 22, 1973, US. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

The Rev. Peter West was guest speaker for the pro-life crowd. A resident of Staten Island, N.Y., the Roman Catholic priest travels all over the world for about six months out of every year as a pro-life activist.

Associate pastor of Priests for Life, West helps other priests become more effective in their right-to-life efforts and encourages those who may not be as involved in the movement.

"There are a lot of misconceptions about the pro-life movement," he said while waiting for the walk to begin.

The Rev. Peter West, associate pastor of Priests for Life, speaks Sunday during the 27th Annual Plattsburgh March for Life.

"First, it needs to be clear that all churches condemn any acts of violence. We need to tell people how abortion hurts women, how it can cause such grief.

"But we also need to spread the word about post-abortion healing; that forgiveness, healing, counseling and support groups are available for women and men who have been wounded by abortion," West said.

"Most decisions to have an abortion come from social pressure or boyfriends. We have to do more than say abortion is wrong. We have to provide what's necessary to help them."

Darlene Egan and her nine-year-old daughter Renee waited patiently for the walk to start.

"We do this from a Christian standpoint, the Plattsburgh woman said. "The choice of abstinence should be made before the choice for abortion.

"We tell our children we don't believe in abortion, and we take a stand to show that."

Mary Pray of Keeseville said, "This is a start to more power messages that are needed. People need to know it isn't a decision that can be made and done with. The decision will follow through all of life and it will affect a lot of people."

Carrie Woodward, director of community relations for North Adirondack Planned Parenthood issued a statement on Friday regarding the March for Life: "We at Planned Parenthood stand proud and firm in our commitment to provide women in our community with all of their reproductive options. It's our mission to ensure that every child is born wanted and loved into a family which is willing and able to nurture it."

Priests for Life
PO Box 141172 • Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. 888-735-3448, (718) 980-4400 • Fax 718-980-6515
mail@priestsforlife.org