Alyssa Murphy is the Register’s Managing Editor of Digital Assets. Known for her work on-air with EWTN’s Morning Glory, Alyssa has over 20 years of experience writing news in all facets of media She’s passionate about volunteering serving on the board of the Fund for Alexandria’s Child and coaching soccer to at-risk youth in Washington, D.C. She and her husband Andrew are expecting their first child in the Fall.
The day began as a gloomy one: rainy and overcast. Amid the hustle and bustle of Times Square, draped in ads and glitzy commercials overwhelming one’s senses, billboards displaying, “Alive From New York,” could be seen. Above, an ad for the pro-life movie, Unplanned played, showcasing the number of abortions taking place every minute.
By the afternoon, just a few minutes before a deep bench of pro-life witnesses took to the stage, the sun broke out. Thousands were gathered waiting for the first ever display of a 4-D ultrasound in technicolor Times Square. A crowd of protesters had gathered on one side holding signs saying, “Abortion is Normal,” amid other illogical fallacies.
It was only a few months ago that the World Trade Center was illuminated in pink to glorify some of the most atrocious abortion laws to ever be passed in the state. On Saturday, pro-lifers in New York finally had a day of reckoning with messages of LIFE being amplified across the crowded commercial square. Here we take a look at 17 of the most inspiring moments in Manhattan, a day like no other:
1. Jim Daly, CEO of ‘Focus on the Family’ who sponsored the event, was turned down by multiple billboard companies who refused to rent space for the pro-life event, leading the company to rent its own portable digital massive screen.
2. A day before the event, Planned Parenthood sent out an alert beckoning their supporters to protest the event, leading March For Life President Jeanne Mancini to say, “My question is: What’s so scary about an ultrasound? Don’t we want technology and more information?”
3. The big pro-life day in Manhattan kicked off with a noon “Mass for the Unborn” at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
4. Before the event started, the crowd broke out in song singing “Amazing Grace.”
5. New York-based singer/songerwriter Francesca Battistelli with her powerful pipes drowned out the small group of protestors who had gathered to disrupt the peaceful prolife event, her voice and pro-life message captivating the crowd.
6. NFL Player Benjamin Watson shared his pro-life witness challenging men everywhere: “We must dispel the lies that are being told... you have what it takes... Fatherhood begins in the womb.”
7. Bishop Peter Byrne of the Archdiocese of New York took to the stage proclaiming the truth: “The strong always have a duty to the weak.”
8. Cardinal Dolan addressed the crowd via video, saying: “Life is never a threat or a burden, it's always a profound gift to be loved, cherished.”
9. Three abortion survivors took to the stage, including Melissa Ohden — all sharing testimony that the new NY abortion laws passed by Governor Andrew Cuomo would have made their lives impossible.
10. Abby Johnson, former director of a Planned Parenthood facility, took to the stage, saying: “Abortion is not normal, abortion is not healthcare... This is a baby and this baby deserves to live!”
11. Dr. Alveda King of Priests For Life, quoting her uncle, Martin Luther King Jr., about the civil rights of unborn children and caring for their mothers: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere!’
12. Dr. Alveda King, feeling moved by the energy of the day, also ended serenading the crowd: “This little light of mine... I’m going to let it shine.”
13. Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List rallied the thousands reminding us all: "Momentum is growing! The world was horrified by what has happened here in New York and almost happened in Virginia. And now we see the same debate happening in the Congress, even with a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives."
14. Actress Ashley Bratcher, who portrays Abby Johnson in the pro-life film Unplanned, told crowd gathered that she herself was almost a victim of abortion saying the film is about “grace and redemption.”
15. Pro-Life Vice President Mike Pence highlighted the event with a tweet: “As Democrat Governors in NY & VA advocate for late term abortion & even infanticide - & Democrats in Congress refuse to allow a vote on the Born-Alive bill - TODAY in Times Square an ultrasound will be shown for all to see, demonstrating the miracle of life.”
16. Christina Bennett, a strong pro-life voice and writer for Live Action News, addressed the crowds sharing a startling statistic: “In NYC, more black babies are aborted than born.”
17. The most magical moment of all: A 4-D ultrasound image projected amidst the chaos and clutter of the city showing a baby in the 3rd trimester, resting its head, using the placenta as a pillow, set to the most powerful score of any moving pictures — a heartbeat — and lo and behold, the expectant mother: Abby Johnson!