Pro-life group plans vigil

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 18, 2010

NATCHEZ — Small wooden crosses on the Natchez Bluffs are meant to bring attention to the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, organizers of the group Pro-Life Natchez-Adams County said.

The 37th anniversary of the controversial Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States is Friday, and the crosses were placed on the bluff in anticipation of a prayer vigil Pro-Life Natchez-Adams County will have at the site from 5:30 to 6 p.m. that evening, co-chair Virginia O’Beirne said.

The 140 crosses, which represent the number of abortions performed every hour in the United States, will remain on the bluffs for two weeks, something the group has gotten permission from the city to do, co-chair Ruth Powers said.

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Pro-Life Natchez-Adams County is dedicated to fighting abortion through prayer and education, and is not tied to any single church, Powers said.

“Our group reaches across all lines, and is not affiliated with any denomination,” she said.

In addition to the vigil the group does every year, Powers said it also promotes awareness of its cause by placing educational posters in places of high visibility, such as churches or the Natchez Mall.

The posters include pictures of fetuses at every month of gestation, and have information about where they are developmentally and what they are aware of and capable of doing, Powers said.

O’Beirne also does pro-life presentations around the community.

Every year, the group at the vigil has grown a little bit, something Powers said she thought could be partially attributed to advances in medical technology.

“Science has given a window into what this really is,” she said.

The group is also firmly against any kind of violent opposition to abortion, and put out a statement condemning the shooting attack that killed well-known abortion provider George Tiller last May, Powers said.

“We have finally gotten the word out that we are not wide-eyed fanatics,” she said.

The group has employed displays on the bluffs to raise awareness for several years now, and has never had any trouble for it, O’Beirne said.

“People don’t mess with the crosses,” she said. “They just leave them alone.”

Pro-Life Natchez-Adams County collects no dues, but will solicit their mailing list to take up collections of goods for those in need, collecting things like diapers and baby food, Powers said.

Rep. Sam Mims will speak at the rally, among others, O’Beirne said.