The Deacon's Bench

Here in New York, we’re embarking on an ambitious pro-life Lenten campaign, “40 Days for Life,” spearheaded by the innovative group Expectant Mother Care.

Not long ago, the group paid a visit to “Abortion Row,” in Queens, where you can find a dozen abortion clinics within several blocks of each other. “Currents” covered the event, and you can watch the video here.

Brooklyn’s diocesan newspaper, The Tablet, was there, too:

40_Days.jpg“It’s an entirely different world to pray on the streets of New York City,” said college student Greg Webb on a recent cold and blustery Saturday morning in Queens. “It’s bustling. It’s distracting. It’s a great penance. But the power that comes from the prayers there is overwhelming.”

He stood alongside fellow St. John’s University Students for Life members praying the Rosary on Roosevelt Ave., a strip in Jackson Heights that is known to many in the pro-life movement as “Abortion Row.” Thirteen abortion clinics stand within one mile of each other.

They were also there to support the recent opening of the first full-time Expectant Mother Care (EMC) crisis pregnancy center in Queens and pray during the 40 Days of Life international campaign that began on Ash Wednesday. It is a focused pro-life effort that consists of 40 days of prayer, fasting, peaceful vigil and community outreach.

This spring, local pro-life advocates in an estimated 167 cities from the U.S., four Canadian provinces and three Australian states are taking part. Among them is New York City, known as the “Abortion Capital of America,” with Chris Slattery serving as director for the 40 Days for Life Bronx and Queens campaign, as well as founder and president of EMC – FrontLine Pregnancy Centers.

“In 2008, the last reported year, there were an astounding 89,469 unborn babies killed in New York City, in part, because we did not do enough to reach their mothers first,” he said.
This Lent, Slattery has asked pro-life supporters to “join us at the doorsteps of three abortion mills, in front of two side-by-side abortion mills in Jackson Heights, Queens, and one in the South Bronx.”

Coordinating the Queens movement is Ray Mooney, who recently gave a tour of the new EMC Pregnancy Care Center. It is one of 12 such centers in New York City operated by EMC, which also manages mobile clinics with ultrasound and counseling. The Queens clinic opened in December 2009 and is located just over a 100 feet away from side-by-side abortion clinics.

“Our outreach is more than anything for the Hispanic community,” Mooney said.
It’s partly a response to “the sad reality” that the abortion clinics “target the undocumented Hispanics, from Mexico and Ecuador, who populate the area,” explained Carmen Biggers, a full-time EMC counselor and director of the new center in Queens.

On any given day, eight to 12 abortion ads appear in El Diario/La Prensa, the popular Spanish-language newspaper serving NYC. One ad included a 10-percent off coupon for an abortion if done in the first 12-weeks of pregnancy.

“Once you look at these ads, you can see the Hispanics are being targeted,” Mooney said. “You see the word ‘Aborto’ all over the page. There is nothing discreet about it. These women are not being told these are babies. They’re being told ‘it’s a blob of tissue.’ They are uninformed about fetal development and the stages of pregnancy. When they see diagrams of the actual procedure, they are appalled.”

Check out the link for the rest.

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