Deacon Greg Sampson leads prayer in the Carroll County Courthouse parking lot before Sunday afternoon’s hour-long Life Chain demonstration along Highway 30. Daily Times Herald photos by Larry Devine
Deacon Greg Sampson leads prayer in the Carroll County Courthouse parking lot before Sunday afternoon’s hour-long Life Chain demonstration along Highway 30. Daily Times Herald photos by Larry Devine
Monday, October 8, 2012

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade ruling in 1973 it’s been a long, difficult battle to overturn that decision and eliminate abortions, says Greg Sampson of Carroll, a deacon in the Sioux City Catholic Diocese.

Scores of Carroll-area residents on Sunday afternoon showed their commitment to end abortions, participating in the annual Life Chain, organized by Carroll Area Iowans for Life.

They lined Highway 30 in Carroll, displaying signs with such messages as “Stop Abortion Now,” “Abortion Hurts Women” and “Abortion Kills Children.”

A Life Chain website says this is a time for prayerful self-analysis, repentance and serious commitment to helping end abortions. There were more than 1,500 Life Chain events across the U.S. in 2011, according to the website.

Since the Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion, there have been approximately 55 million abortions in the U.S., according to both the Centers for Disease Control and the Guttmacher

Institute. The number of abortions yearly has declined about 25 percent, to about 1.2 million, after reaching a high in 1990, when there were over 1.6 million, according to Guttmacher, and 1.4 million, according to CDC.

“We had a good time and we hope we did a little bit of good,” Sampson said following Sunday’s Life Chain. “The battle has been going on, and it’s a protracted battle. The end is not in sight, but we do our little bit, and it was a good day.”

Life Chain participants promote awareness and seek to generate support.

“The people out there are witnesses to a movement that seeks to protect human life at all stages,” Sampson said. “And you never know what effect you’re going to have on people. You might have a profound effect. The point is, you have to try.”

Participants ranged from young children to seniors, and different faiths also were represented, although it was predominantly Catholics, Sampson notes.

“Our objective is to pray for a change of heart among the whole populace, and I think we did that,” he said.