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75 gather at Pro-Life Natchez candlelight vigil

NATCHEZ — Crosses outnumbered participants Friday night as candles and prayers were lifted by those who attended Pro-Life Natchez-Adams County’s candlelight vigil on the bluff.

Surrounded by 140 crosses representing the number of abortions performed hourly in the United States, approximately 75 people gathered to pray for the lives of unborn children worldwide.

Guest speaker Rep. Sam Mims (R-McComb) said events such as the pro-life vigil are important.

“This event is about human life,” Mims said. “I think it’s important all of us be focused on this important issue.

“We’ve got to look and make sure where we are as a culture,” he said.

Mims, a father of three, said in recent years state legislators have been working on laws concerning abortion.

Mims said due to laws passed in the state legislature, expectant mothers must wait 24 hours before receiving an abortion, young women under the age of 18 must have the consent of both parents and doctors must offer women a chance to hear their baby’s heartbeat and see the sonogram.

“Thank you for standing up for what you believe in because it makes a difference,” Mims told attendees.

Natchez-Adams County Pro-Life co-chair Virginia O’Beirne said the best way to work toward saving future lives is to keep voicing concerns and ideas to the lawmakers who represent the state.

“Do what you’re doing and speak up and keep on speaking up,” O’Beirne said.

“Talk to your neighbors and representatives.”

Standing amidst the crowd, Michelle Stogner, 37, of New Orleans, stood three weeks shy of giving birth to a little girl.

In the past eight months, Stogner has made the decision to not only give birth to a little girl, but also give her a life.

Faced with a tumultuous life of her own in recent years, Stogner said she has made the decision to give her baby up for adoption.

“I’ve always been against abortion,” Stogner said.

“But I don’t think I’ll be able to raise this child with the emotional trauma I’ve gone through in the past few years.”

Stogner, the mother of two boys, ages 18 and 10, said much prayer has gone into her decision, and she feels at peace with her decision to carry the child for the New Jersey couple she selected.

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