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Nearly 100 join in anti-abortion memorial service

Jan. 26, 2001

Program featured personal testimonies

by some speakers

By WALT WILLIAMS

Reporter

Nearly 100 anti-abortionists gathered at the Catholic Student Center Thursday night to remember lives they believed were lost to abortion.

The 'Memorial for the Innocents,' sponsored by Greater Waco Respect Life, an anti-abortion organization, featured guests from both Catholic and Protestant churches speaking out against abortion in America and the Waco area. It was this multi-denominational atmosphere that helped attract people to the service.

'We are a community bound together by our love and our respect for life ... and our love and our respect for one another,' the Reverend Edward Karasek, minister at St. Mary's Church of West, said.

The four speakers for the evening all discussed various sides of the anti-abortion cause. Karasek urged the audience to remember aborted children.

'If we forget, then no one else will remember,' Karasek said.

Following a song by her daughter, Sondra Pettis discussed her own past with abortion. Pettis told the audience of how she almost aborted her daughter Jennifer.

'It would have been my third abortion, but God stepped in and intervened through my mother and said 'Don't do it.' '

Other speakers took a more subtle approach to the issue. the Rev. Ronnie Holmes, founder and pastor of Church of the Open Door in Waco, quoted Jesus from the book of Mark. Holmes prayed with the audience that God would make them like 'the salt of the earth,' and help them to stand up against abortion.

Dr. John Pisciotta, professor of economics and co-director of Greater Waco Respect Life, closed the service by telling the audience not to focus on Washington D.C., but on their own town.

'Waco is the place to be,' Pisciotta said. 'With God's Grace, this is where the battle is fought.'

Bears for Life and other Baylor students came out in support of the service.

'The main reason is to be here to commemorate the lives of the infants who were murdered,' Libby Davis, a Georgetown junior, said. 'The other reason is that we wanted to be involved in the community and get to know the other people in our community who are involved with this issue.'

Joseph Keillor, a Los Fresnos sophomore, was also in attendance. He came with a group of Young Conservatives of Texas in support of Bears for Life. Keillor said that YCT thought it was important to support Bears for Life because they share a common view on abortion.

Joseph Keillor, a Los Fresnos sophomore, checks out the pamphlets made available by the Baylor Catholic Center after the 'Memorial for the Innocents' Thursday night. Several campus and Waco groups met to remember the lives of thousands of children who are aborted yearly.