St. John Valley

Pro-life activists spread out in silent prayer along Main Street in Madawaska

MADAWASKA, Maine — Bundled in sweaters, scarves and gloves, 15 people stretched along Main Street in Madawaska Sunday afternoon as part of a National Life Chain, a peaceful pro-life prayer protest.

The Madawaska leg of the National Life Chain started 26 years ago after organizer Don Blanchette attended one of the pro-life events in Van Buren. Life Chain is an organization dedicated to spreading awareness of alternative options to abortion and is held annually on the first Sunday in October throughout North America, according to Blanchette, who sometimes has gone out to protest by himself.

“Some women come up to me and say that since it is their body, it is their right,” Blanchette said Sunday. “So I ask them two questions: When is murder a right and when is the creature above the creator.”

The protest lasted about one hour in the chilly, early afternoon with the pro-life activists, standing in silent prayer and holding rosaries and signs with messages such as, “Abortion kills children.”

“Throughout our nation today, we come out and participate in Life Chain,” said Father Alex Antony of St. Agatha. “ The purpose is to tell the nation that life is important and we stand here for an hour of prayer, and we pray for all the innocent children killed in abortion and that this situation in the country will come to an end.”

Melissa Blanchette, Don Blanchette’s granddaughter, joined her grandparents on Main Street and also held a picket sign.

“I’m here to help people change their minds about aborting babies,” the 9-year-old said.

She said this was her first year participating in the peaceful prayer protest, and she was a bit surprised at some of the people driving by and giving her “mean gestures.”

“They put their middle finger up at me,” Melissa Blanchette said.

But that did not deter her from continuing her vigil with a sign that stood taller than her.

“I don’t want babies to die when they’re too young,” she said. “They don’t get to experience life yet.”

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