Undated (AP) _ Thousands of anti-abortion protesters around the country held hands Sunday in ''life chains'' that stretched for miles in some cities.

There were no reports of arrests and only minor confrontations with abortion rights advocates in scores of cities from the San Francisco Bay area to Florida.

Royce Dunn of Yuba City, Calif., founder of the group Life Chain, which organized the demonstrations, said more than 850,000 people participated.

''Standing along a road, not blocking traffic or breaking laws, appealed to a lot of church people,'' said the Rev. David DeCook of the Open Bible Church in St. Albans, W.Va., near Charleston.

Demonstrators in West Virginia formed a ''life chain'' along a 20-mile of U.S. Route 60, DeCook said.

In Roanoke, Va., a motorist in a pickup truck bearing a sign that said ''Celebrating our freedom to protest abortion and celebrating the freedom to choose abortion'' drove past anti-abortion demonstrators.

''The people going by in cars yelling 'pro-choice' out the window don't know what they're talking about,'' said Susan Niday, who is expecting a child in April. '''How can you be pro-choice? A baby has no choice,''

Demonstrations were also held in Chicago, Atlanta, Nebraska, Indiana and South Carolina.

In Boston, Cardinal Bernard Law, archbishop of Boston, joined anti-abortion protesters in a march through the city in an apparently separate demonstration sponsored by Massachusetts Citizens for Life.

''The gift of life should not be seen by anyone as an obstacle to happiness,'' Law told the crowd on Boston Common.

The annual Respect Life Walk raised $80,000 last year for anti-abortion groups that help unwed mothers, said coordinator Leslie Bond Diggins. She said she did not immediately know how much this year's march raised.

Some walkers donated gift certificates for grocery store chains or stores that carry cribs, while others gave baby clothing.

At one point, half a dozen pro-choice demonstrators snaked through the crowd. Someone snatched a sign that read ''Long Life The Pro-Choice Jesus'' from the back of Dan Kontoff's bicycle.

''You try to get into a conversation with them and they won't listen,'' Kontoff said of the anti-abortion activists. Moments later, someone snatched his sign away.