Tens of thousands of people gathered from all over the country to stand up for the unborn in New York’s biggest pro-life event.
The sound of an unborn child’s beating heart alongside large-screen projections of a live 4-D ultrasound in the middle of Times Square was something I never thought I would witness.
The historic rally came as a response to the radical new law passed by New York state, which legalized late-term abortion and infanticide of babies who survive late-term abortions.
The new law is so diabolical that it’s eliminated from New York’s penal code any consequence for killing an unborn child in its mother’s womb. A criminal will no longer be charged with double homicide if he or she murders a pregnant woman in New York.
In January, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo was so proud of the new Reproductive Health Act that he asked New York landmarks to honor it. One World Trade Center agreed and lit its 408-foot spire in pink.
The entire country was in outrage over legislation in New York, Virginia, and other states, and there has been a rise in pro-life advocacy.
It’s as though the abortion debate has reached its pinnacle.
I witnessed this firsthand in the middle of Times Square as I volunteered for the event, alongside my home church, Times Square Church, speaking to many people who traveled from all across the country to attend.
I spoke to a gentleman who flew in from Texas and another gentleman who flew in from California. They were both extremely distraught about how heartless abortion has become in the United States.
Protests and Support
Focus on the Family, a Christian conservative organization that focuses on strengthening the family, made its final stop in NYC in its 12-week campaign called “See Life Clearly.”
The event didn’t begin without a hitch. As part of the expected backlash, Focus on the Family was denied the right to lease large-screen video displays by three companies in Times Square in order to post images of unborn children.
Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, wrote on his blog: “In response to this flat-out discrimination, we’ve decided to bring in our own digital billboards. … [T]his blockade only confirms what we’ve long known. There are many people who don’t want the world to see these images of pre-born life, because the abortion industry is predicated on a lie—namely that a baby is just a blob of tissue inside the womb. It’s not. It’s a baby.”
The Alive From New York event featured live music and speakers including Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr.; Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood clinic director, whose story was the inspiration for the movie “Unplanned”; Ashley Bratcher, the star of “Unplanned”; Cardinal Timothy Dolan; Phil Stacey, American Idol finalist; Pastor Carter Conlon, senior pastor of the Times Square Church; three abortion survivors; and presidents of pro-life organizations such as Jeanne Mancini of March for Life and Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List.
The legal limit of registration for the event was 10,000 people, and Focus on the Family reached that. It seemed that more than 10,000 people attended, if you looked out onto the sea of people in Times Square. The barricades surrounding the event couldn’t contain all the people who showed up. I heard an onlooker say, “I haven’t seen this many people in Times Square since New Year’s.”
Perhaps, it was no coincidence that the main stage was situated directly beneath where the New Year’s Eve ball drops. The abortion debate ball has dropped, and pro-lifers have had enough of the ruthless sacrifice of unborn babies across the country.
Pro-choice protesters appeared to disagree as they banged their drums and chanted throughout the entire event. One female protester was so distraught about the baby ultrasound that she took off her shirt and exposed her chest in defiance.
‘The Great Spiritual Need of Our Time’
The event kicked off with a musical performance by Francesca Battistelli, a Christian singer and songwriter from New York City, who opened the event by singing her hit songs “Giants Fall” and “He Knows My Name.”
Conlon followed the performances by leading Times Square in a prayer for the unborn. He later said: “The fact that we are even talking about this issue of aborting children and even aborting children after they are born shows the great spiritual need of our time. We need revival. We need the presence of God to come. Let that be your prayers.”
Alveda King then took the stage and spoke about her uncle, Martin Luther King Jr., and his activism during the Civil Rights movement. She compared the fight for civil rights to the fight for children’s rights, a theme followed up by abortion survivor Christina Bennett.
“This is the extension of the Civil Rights movement; this is the human rights movement of our day,” Bennett said.
In New York, more African American babies are killed by abortion every year than are born alive.
After another musical performance by Battistelli, three abortion survivors took the stage and shared their testimonies. One of the survivors explained how her birth mother wasn’t aware that she was carrying twins. The abortion doctor, strangely, wasn’t aware either as he pulled out one of the twins limb-by-limb, miraculously leaving the other twin completely unscathed.
The time had finally come for the event’s main attraction: A live 4-D ultrasound of an unborn baby.
There was complete silence as the sound of a baby’s heart beating filled Times Square. It felt as though even the tall buildings surrounding Times Square echoed with the sound of life.
New York, the city that never sleeps, had a real heartbeat. It was alive.
Passersby stopped to listen as they gazed at the large projections of a live 4-D ultrasound of Abby Johnson’s unborn child. This will be her eighth baby.
The screens showed a smiling baby peaking over a large, twisted umbilical cord, which a doctor explained as the crowd marveled at the image.
It was truly a beautiful moment to experience, especially as a native New Yorker.
Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, told Fox News, “We wanted to make a statement. Gov. Cuomo has said something along the lines of ‘pro-lifers aren’t welcome in New York.’ … Well, here we are in Times Square and life should be welcomed wherever we are. From what we’ve heard, pro-life New Yorkers are really appalled by this legislation and they want to protect the dignity of the unborn and make their voices heard.”
Cuomo and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio were invited to the event; neither attended.
Anna Khait was born in the Soviet Union. She is a born-again Christian, outspoken anti-communist, political commentator, and a public speaker. Khait currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.