I have been a resident of New York all my life. During my three college years, I was a student at Fordham University, in the Bronx, New York City. I know that the state, especially the city, is pretty heavily pro-choice. This includes many of the state’s politicians as well. Yet I still couldn’t help being a bit shocked and saddened to see that the New York City Council and its speaker, Christine Quinn, also a candidate for mayor, are actually promoting abortion so heavily.
On the council’s website, under the “action center,” there is a call for volunteers to join up to be clinic escorts, “to accompany women when they visit [abortion] facilities. According to the information up on the website, “[h]aving such a program in place will help ensure that women can safely access these legally available healthcare services here in our city.”
The website mentions that the program is in partnership with Planned Parenthood of New York City and the New York Civil Liberties Union. Training days will take place on October 28 and 29. These volunteer clinic escorts will be at abortion clinics from 8am to 11am on Saturdays beginning November 3 and continuing through the end of the year.
Having an abortion in this country is legal, regardless of how pro-lifers may feel about it. In fact, New York was one of the first states to legalize abortion, doing so in 1970, before Roe v. Wade made abortion legal throughout the country. While women in New York and across the country are legally entitled to seek and have an abortion, those who are against abortion also have a right to protest outside abortion clinics and attempt to persuade abortion-minded women to choose life for their unborn children. Which is why the opening statements to introduce the City Council’s program are so disheartening:
Protest actions at reproductive healthcare facilities have been getting more divisive and intrusive over the past year – even here in New York City. At the Council we are committed to making sure all New York women have access to reproductive healthcare, including safe, legal abortions.
Those who peacefully pray or sidewalk-counsel outside abortion clinics are usually not behaving in “divisive” or “intrusive” ways. Also, the New York City council describes itself as “committed to making sure all New York women have access to … legal abortions.” Yes, the law already protects these women. I’m curious about why, then, the City Council goes to further protect these women. The City Council doesn’t do much else for New Yorkers of a different mindset other than to frown upon them and their “protest actions.”
The “right” to an abortion and such organizations that promote this “right” certainly have friends in the politicians of New York State and New York City in particular. The City Council is no different. By promoting abortion, the Council fails to truly represent a significant group of constituents.
As a LifeSiteNews article mentions:
“It doesn’t make sense. She’s supposed to be my representative,” said Monsignor Philip Reilly, a Catholic priest who led the protest. He called for her to depart City Council, saying, “If she wants to do that, she should resign.”
Merle Hoffman, who owns the “Choices” abortion center, mounted a counter-demonstration with about 15 people. “Women should have the right to make their choices without people praying for their souls,” Hoffman told the Daily News.
Even though Quinn maintains that city money won’t be used to fund the escort project, some say the Council is sending the wrong message by getting involved at all. “This says it’s okay to have an abortion, and it’s not okay,” said Antoinette Wolske, a retired nurse from Queens who participated in Saturday’s protest. “We should not have this idea promoted.”
Monsignor Philip Reilly is certainly correct, and it is a shame that pro-life residents of New York City are made to feel as if their City Council fails to represent them by completely disregarding their beliefs. Further, Ms. Merle Hoffman has a right to operate her counter-protest, but so do pro-lifers have a right to pray for the souls of people making the destructive choice of an abortion. There is no guarantee of making the choice for an abortion without others being called to action to pray or sidewalk-counsel in opposition to such a choice.
CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE!
It is bad enough for pro-lifers that abortion is legal in New York and across the country. It is truly a shame for a City Council to actually promote abortion, as Antoinette Wolske mentions is happening. Even in such a liberal state and city as New York, it is a sad day when a City Council goes to such lengths to only represent the part of their constituency it happens to agree with.
LifeNews Note: Rebecca Downs is currently a senior in college where she is involved in the Respect for Life club there. Upon graduation she hopes to pursue a career in the political world, specifically to do with the pro life movement.