Patty Knap calls herself a “born again” Catholic. She planned to be a wife and mother of four or five kids with several girls, but as life played out, she’s a single mom with two young adult boys. She counsels at a crisis pregnancy center, teaches CCD, takes online classes with the Avila Institute, and loves the beach, dalmatians, and America’s national parks. She also saves recipes in a pile until it gets big and then throws them out.
Days after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a radical abortion expansion law, a grassroots outcry announced a statewide Day of Mourning.
On Saturday, Feb. 23, thousands of citizens, dressed in black, protested and prayed against the misnamed Reproductive Health Act, which expanded abortion in New York State through all nine months, for any reason, and even removes protection for the rare infant who survives an abortion attempt.
New York already has the highest abortion rate of any state.
In Albany, the state capital, a rally was held in the convention center that is directly beneath the office where Governor Cuomo signed the legislation he pushed for. The rally included prayer; talks by Elizabeth Johnston (“the activist Mommy”); Justin Reeder, head of Love Life, a pro-life ministry; David Harris, Jr. author, speaker, and leader in the conservative black community; and the Benham Brothers, Christian speakers and authors. Blythe Mullen, an 8-year-old girl saved from abortion after her biological mother was told about adoption, was also introduced.
Throughout the event, members of the audience wept audibly, some even prostrating on the ground throughout the convention center during prayer. At one point, around four dozen ministers from across New York went to their knees onstage alongside the event’s speakers.
“It's time to rebuild, pick up the pieces,” Reeder said to the audience. “I'm talking about a culture shift, where families stop running to the abortion center for the answer, and they begin running to the local church. That's the shift that I believe in.”
“We are standing with these forgotten and thrown-away children, and promising to do all that is in our power to end the bloodshed and defend the weak,” Johnston said. "We are here in New York, where they just not only signed, but celebrated by lighting up the World Trade Center pink, the execution of babies.”
On Long Island, more than 1,000 people lined a major intersection outside Democratic headquarters and held signs with riveting messages: Women's Rights Begin at Conception; Take My Hand, Not My Life; The Blood of the Innocent is on Cuomo’s Hands; Pray to End Abortion; Pregnant? Need Help? Call 800 848-LOVE; Before I Formed You in the Womb, I Knew You. One elderly gentleman in a wheelchair held a sign reading, “I Fought at Iwo Jima. Now I Fight for the Babies.”
Parishioners of St. Joseph's Church, Garden City led the Rosary and sang Amazing Grace. The support of the traffic passing and waiting at lights was overwhelmingly positive, with thumbs-up, clapping and numerous calls of “thank you for being here!”