By Jessica Easthope
It was a day to make steps toward change.
Dozens gathered in Foley Square in Lower Manhattan, March 25, for the fifth annual International Gift of Life Walk. The crowd was smaller and people were more distant than in years past, but they’re all connected by a common goal: to end abortion.
“It’s purposely on March 25, on the Feast of the Annunciation, when our Lord became flesh, which is why we’re here for the unborn children and their mothers and the respect of all human life,” said Catherine Donohoe, an organizer of the annual event.
The latest data shows 24 percent of all women in the U.S. will have an abortion before the age of 45. That’s one reason why Catherine Donohoe says the time to act is now.
“We need people coming back to the church and get the message that all life deserves to be protected under the legislation,” Catherine said, “because we know in this country, legislation is the way to go. You have to be involved politically.”
In the first two months of 2021, eight new abortion restrictions and bans were enacted. Yet members of the pro-life movement here in New York City say that taking more steps against abortion will be hard with the Biden administration.
“The Biden Administration is the pro-life movement’s worst nightmare,” said Chris Slattery, the president of Expectant Mother Care. “President Biden is an advocate of total abortion up until the day of birth and claims to be a practicing Catholic. That is an abomination.”
Historically, the pro-life movement’s fight for people of color has been an uphill battle. The abortion rate for Black women has been almost five times that for white women. Barbara, from Harlem, was the walk’s Grand Pro-Life Marshal.
“We have a governor who believes in abortions even at the late stages,” Barbara said, “and in my communities, we have more children aborted than are born in New York. Something has to stop.”
During the event, performance artists caused a graphic disturbance in the crowd, but it didn’t shake the marchers, especially not Grace Colucci.
During the pandemic, her pro-life advocacy has taken on a new meaning. She marched for her father who caught COVID-19 in his nursing home and died.
“Life is precious and should be held precious from conception until their natural death,” Grace said. “These people in the nursing homes didn’t have a natural death. Their deaths were put upon them before their times.”
That day, the pro-life movement gained momentum with each step and it won’t stop until life is given the respect, they say, it deserves.