Calvary Chapel of Carson City will open its doors 6:30-8 p.m. today for a multi-church gathering to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade - the historic Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
The Christian band, I Am They, will lead a time of worship during "The Reality of Roe" prayer and worship event. Pastors from seven area churches will each introduce a topic and lead in prayer.
"To me it's important that we remember what has happened," said Pat Propster, pastor of Calvary Chapel. "Those of us who believe abortion is against God's heart are standing together on behalf of the nation, first in repentance to seek forgiveness for the number of abortions that have happened and to pray for the loss of all these babies and for the moms and families who have been hurt by abortion."
An estimated 53 million to 54 million abortions have taken place in the United States in the 40 years since Roe v. Wade, he said.
"All of those lives have been lost," said Kimberly Burchiel, director of the Community Pregnancy Center in Carson City, a cosponsor of the event. "Each one was a unique individual that will never exist again. We don't know what might have happened had they lived."
The service is also a time of prayer for healing for the men, women and families hurt by abortion.
Burchiel said that, although those supporting abortion rights downplay its affects, a study (published in Medical Science Monitor in 2004) indicates that 14 percent of American women who have had an abortion have symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Both men - who can feel a loss of fatherhood - and women may be at risk for substance abuse and other disorders.
"Many say if they had known there was another way, they would not have chosen abortion," said Burchiel, whose organization provides resources and information about many options.
"Young people today have never known anything but legalized abortion," she said. "Many already have a plan - 'if I get pregnant, I will get an abortion' - without realizing they can make another choice; there are resources available."
In addition to Propster, pastors also participating in "The Reality of Roe" event including: Louie Locke, Fountainhead Foursquare Church; Ben Fleming, Silver Hills Community Church; James Parker, Freedom Church; Norm Milz, Shepherd of the Sierra Lutheran Church; Rich Lammay, High Sierra Fellowship; and Leo Kruger, Valley Christian Fellowship.
For additional information, call Calvary Chapel, 1635 Clearview Dr., at 883-5215.