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60 people line highway, demonstrate against abortion
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Sarah Ballance, front, and other participants hold signs along Highway 84 during Sunday’s Life Chain. The national event involves activists demonstrating at the local level in an attempt to spread pro-life views. - photo by Photo by Alena Parker.
Receiving both negative shouts and encouraging honks from motorists, about 60 locals formed links of a Life Chain during the Georgia Right to Life demonstration Sunday.
The group, mostly Gum Branch Baptist Church and St. Stephens Catholic Church members, stood for an hour with anti-abortion and faith-based signs on the sidewalk of Highway 84 near Carter's Funeral Home.
Jane Marie Davis, president of the Georgia Right to Life Liberty/Long chapter, said because of her faith, she sees abortion as a non-debatable issue.
However, Davis thinks the pro-life agenda should go beyond the church pew.
"This is a moral issue," Davis said. "The unborn doesn't have a voice so we're their voice."
Guy Berg, who participated in the chain, said the issue is as personal to him as it is to women.
"If my mother was pro-choice, I wouldn't be here," Berg said, adding the only choice he believes in is the "choice before the act."
"In today's society, people act and don't  think and then afterwards they react," Berg said. "A lot of times they react in the wrong way."
While Liberty County public health services do not provide abortion services, Annie Washington, clinical coordinator for the Liberty County Health Department, said trained nurses conduct pregnancy tests and provide clients with information sheets on unwanted pregnancies, including foster care and adoption options.
Washington said abortion is a very intimate decision and clients usually do not bring it up.
"It's a decision the client needs to make on their own," Washington said. "It's very difficult because every case is unique."
Davis, a mother of three, straddled the fence on unconventional cases involving unwanted pregnancies, such as rape, until she spoke with a woman who was the product of a rape.
"At a younger age,
I know of people who I did not discourage not to have one," Davis said. "That has really impacted my life to realize I was wrong."
Washington added the health department does not see as many teen pregnancies as in the past.
"Because of the fact we're very proactive in prominent comprehensive health ... our numbers have gone down tremendously in the last decade," Washington said.
Davis gestured to one of the signs and said her faith offers forgiveness for those who have already had an abortion. However, she wants her message to reach people who may consider the procedure.
"I don't know one person that was glad that they had an abortion," Davis said.
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