A live, 4D-ultrasound of a 36-week gestation baby was broadcast in Times Square on Saturday, as part of Focus on the Family’s “Alive in New York” celebration.
“Alive in New York” was conducted in partnership with the pro-life organizations And Then There Were None and Save the Storks. The event drew a crowd estimated in the thousands, and it is believed to be the largest pro-life demonstration in New York state history.
In addition to the ultrasound, the event included musical performances and speeches from pro-life advocates.
Times Square, widely seen as the center of the nation’s largest city, was chose as a venue in response to New York state’s passage of the Reproductive Health Act earlier this year. That law deriminalized abortion, while removing almost all restrictions on the procedure in New York.
“Our nation, and our society, is at a crossroads. We can no longer sit on the sidelines. Now is the moment to unite with one voice to proclaim the sanctity of life. The truth will be visible to all in Times Square – at The Crossroads of the World,” said Focus on the Family in a statement released prior to the event.
Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director who left the abortion industry to form And Then There Were None, was given an ultrasound as part of the event. Johnson is 36 weeks pregnant with her eighth child.
During the ultrasound, Johnson exclaimed to the crowd “This right here is a baby. It’s not a cat, it’s not a parasite. This is a human being with a heartbeat, with its own DNA that is separate from my body.”
Johnson is also the subject of the new film “Unplanned,” which depicts her story and ideological conversion into the pro-life movement. In the film, she is motivated to leave the abortion industry after witnessing an ultrasound-guided abortion of a second-trimester pregnancy.
New York’s bishops were extremely critical of the Reproductive Health Act as it made its way through the state legislature.
“Words are insufficient to describe the profound sadness we feel at the contemplated passage of New York State’s new proposed abortion policy. We mourn the unborn infants who will lose their lives, and the many mothers and fathers who will suffer remorse and heartbreak as a result,” the bishops of New York state said Jan. 17.
“The so-called 'Reproductive Health Act' will expand our state’s already radically permissive law, by empowering more health practitioners to provide abortion and removing all state restrictions on late-term procedures. With an abortion rate that is already double the national average, New York law is moving in the wrong direction.”
The bishops recalled their pledge “to offer the resources and services of our charitable agencies and health services to any woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, to support her in bearing her infant, raising her family or placing her child for adoption. There are life-affirming choices available, and we aim to make them more widely known and accessible.”