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Abortion foes counter concert

Six churches plan to hold an anti-abortion rally to contrast a Pearl Jam concert arranged as a memorial to an abortion doctor killed outside a clinic a year earlier.

The sold-out concert sponsored by Rock for Choice will be held March 9 at the 10,000-seat Pensacola Civic Center, a day before the first anniversary of Dr. David Gunn's death.

Anti-abortion activist Michael F. Griffin is on trial for first-degree murder in the shooting death of Gunn.

Churches have organized a high school rally the same night as the concert.

"I felt a sense of frustration for my teens because Pearl Jam is such a big group, and they go to school with a lot of kids who are fans," said David Hutchinson, youth director of Pinewoods Presbyterian Church. "I didn't want them to be discouraged."

Hutchinson, who contacted youth directors at other churches to organize the rally, said it is as much a response to extremists who advocate anti-abortion violence as to Pearl Jam.

"I believe as Christians we are commanded to live lives like Jesus, and Jesus would not advocate killing people because he disagreed with their lifestyle."

The rally will feature speeches by a Feminists for Life official, a Christian counselor and a pediatrician.