AIKEN - Only three days after the FDA approved the use of the abortion pill in the United States, anti-abortionist prayed Sunday for an end to what they consider killings.
Hundreds of people in Aiken and Augusta took part in Life Chain 2000, a nationwide Christian witness against abortion.
Protesters lined up with anti-abortion signs and prayed silently for an hour on Whiskey Road in Aiken and in front of Warren Baptist Church in Augusta. The national prayer event originated in California in 1983.
The Rev. Robert Jackson was one of the first protesters to grab a sign.
"I'm a Christian, and I believe in the sanctity of life," he said, standing his ground on Whiskey Road.
The Rev. Jackson, who is a minister at Good Hope Baptist Church, said he was upset Thursday when he heard the Food and Drug Administration had given the green light to distribute RU-486, the abortion pill, in the United States.
"That was probably the final straw," he said. "If that doesn't wake up Christians, then I don't know what will."
There have been more than 35 million abortions in the United States since the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision, something the Rev. Jackson compares to the Holocaust.
"I think it's sad that our government has gotten to the point where they can pass out a pill to end life," he said. "It reminds me of Hitler in Germany."
Ken Adams, president of the Aiken County Citizens for Life, brought his family to the event Sunday.
"We're here to make a stand," Mr. Adams said. "I believe the law should be based on science, not some vague assumption of who is or isn't a person."
Abortion is an issue close to Aiken County School Board member Larry Murphy's heart. Mr. Murphy and his wife adopted two children, who now are grown and have children of their own.
"If their mother had aborted them, I wouldn't have my children or grandchildren. They're the apple of my eye," Mr. Murphy said. "There are so many people out there who will adopt kids."
Mr. Murphy and the other protesters held signs that read, "Adoption, the Loving Option," "Abortion Kills Children," and "God, Forgive our Nation."
In Augusta, Nancy Garner said protesters carried signs and crosses as they lined the sidewalk in front of Warren Baptist Church.
"It was very a very peaceful time," Mrs. Garner said. "There were a lot of families, young and old people, and everyone in between."
The silent hour of meditation ended with music and a prayer, she said.
Reach Katie Throne at (803) 279-6895 or firstname.lastname@example.org.