The purpose of the event was to allow the community to rally together in favor of life and recognize the number of abortions in the United States, according to Yaunna Higgins, executive director of the New Hope Pregnancy Care Center. Since 1973, more than 53 million abortions have taken place.
In addition, the event was a way for the community to remember the unborn and show concern for those who have had abortions in the past, Higgins said.
The service began with scripture and prayer by the Rev. Ron Hill of Church of God Sanctified. The introduction was followed by a speech from Higgins.
Higgins shared how New Hope Pregnancy Care Center plays a role in the community. The center “desires to give help, hope, accurate information and practical assistance to those facing a crisis or unplanned pregnancy,” she said. New Hope saw over 1,000 clients in 2010.
State Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland, read a Sanctity of Life proclamation from Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. Brooks also spoke on new legislation planned during 2011.
Todd Colbert, associate pastor of Candies Creek Baptist Church, sang a song titled “No Life Too Small,” and the evening’s main speaker took the stage.
Carol Martin of the National Memorial for the Unborn in Chattanooga, along with Katrina Griffin, director of the memorial, shared their stories of going through abortions. Both women said they now help those facing past abortions.
The service concluded with a candle-lighting ceremony and prayer outside Living Word Church led by Pastor Aubrey Ector of Unity Christian Ministries.
It was a “solemn and precious moment” when those attending held their candles and sang the closing song, Higgins said.
In addition to providing help and information for those facing unplanned pregnancies, the New Hope Pregnancy Center offers support groups for women facing abortion, past and present. A new HOPE (Healing of Past Emotions from Abortion) group begins on Feb. 7. Those interested in the group and New Hope’s other services can call 479-6683 for more information.