By Martha Underwood

Killeen Daily Herald

Waving the placard, Choosy mothers choose life, a man mumbled a prayer for a passing motorist. Another demonstrator held the sign, Abortion hurts children, and prayed that mothers would keep their babies.

The publicity vigil and prayers are part of the Central Texans for Lifes grassroots movement to save the lives of prenatal children, said organizer Brian Thom.

The groups purposes include prayer, publicity and education, Thom said.

Roman Catholics and Protestants have participated in the weekly event Fridays between 10 and 11 a.m. at 3601 S. W.S. Young Drive, where an office park contains an abortion clinic, Thom said.

Abortion hurts, Jesus heals, said the sign Jenny Earnest waved the day after Thanksgiving.

The San Antonio resident was in town visiting her parents when the whole family decided to participate.

Life is too precious not to fight for it, said the pregnant mother, who has three children.

Calls to the abortion provider, the Killeen Womens Health Center, were referred to administrator Stacy Christie in the centers Austin office. They are open and seeing patients, Christie said. We do not make comments for publication.

A half-page telephone book ad lists the center as an abortion agency providing free pregnancy tests, surgical abortion, IV sedation for comfort, the RU-486 abortion pill and the morning-after pill, as well as complete gynecological services.

Its recorded message encourages callers, placed on hold, to check with their medical insurers about coverage or ask the center to check.

Women should realize they are not alone, said sign carrrier Andy Busti, referring to the pro-life Hope Pregnancy Center, located next to the abortion provider. Women do have alternatives. They do have a choice.

The Hope Pregnancy Center offers free services through donations by Christian churches and individuals in the community, center director Lynn Rasberry said. We do not want women to choose abortion under fear or financial pressure.

The Hope Pregnancy Center provides pregnancy tests and ultrasounds between 6 and 14 weeks gestation, maternity clothes every trimester, and mommy and daddy classes at which money is earned to buy layette items from the center.

Additionally, adoption services or continued assistance with diapers and formula the year following the babys birth are offered. Post-abortion counseling is available to men and women to help deal with the loss, Rasberry said.

Hope Pregnancy Center is not connected with the sidewalk demonstrations, Ras-berry said.

Central Texans for Life began their weekly vigil in October, Thom said. It grew from four to 13 participants, though some were missing last week because of sickness, he said.

Besides praying on the sidewalk, members of the Central Texans for Life gather the last Friday of the month for prayer, except New Years Eve, Thom said.

In August, the group presented the Killeen City Council with a petition containing more than 1,800 signatures requesting a ban on abortion clinics in the city. The group sponsored an educational luncheon in August about clergy, abortion and the law that more than 50 pastors attended.

During the sidewalk demonstrations, some passing motorists respond by honking or waving. Killeen police watch from a distance.

Sometimes, group activities cause problems, and we want to make sure there is no disturbance, officer Jan Roth said.

Contact Martha Underwood at

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