ALBANY, February 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Thousands of pro-lifers gathered in Empire State Plaza Convention Center on Saturday to observe a Day of Mourning against New York’s recent law declaring a “fundamental right” to virtually-unlimited abortion, with even more participating across the country.
Late last month, New York enacted a law codifying a “right” to abortion into the third trimester, erasing the state’s recognition of preborn babies as potential homicide victims, removing abortion from the penal code, and letting non-doctor medical workers commit abortions. Democrats and activists cheered the law’s passage in the state capital, and Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the One World Trade Center’s spire be lit in pink to commemorate it.
In response, a group of pro-life organizers designated February 23 as a Day of Mourning to demonstrate against the so-called “Reproductive Health Act.” They asked pro-lifers across America to wear black, abstain from shopping, close their businesses, and pray for repentance, with a three-hour service in New York’s capital as the centerpiece.
The event sold out the convention center room with more than 3,000 attendees, was live-streamed to 28 cities with 34,000 viewers, and sold more than 1,400 shirts across 45 states and three countries, according to Facebook and blog posts by Elizabeth “Activist Mommy” Johnston, one of the organizers.
— Derek Levendusky (@dereklevendusky) February 23, 2019
Unborn lives matter! This is only one of the Day of Mourning events that took place across the United States from NY to CA. We met in Apple Valley to pray and take a stand. #dayofmourning, #BabiesLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/7lom8pBgFz
— Beckie Lindsey (@BeckieLindsey_) February 23, 2019
Our Moms for America organization is officially CLOSED today in observance of #DayOfMourning. If you are attending with us today, tag us with your location in the comments. https://t.co/pslskwVJdT#MomsForAmerica #EndAbortion #ProLife #DayOfMourningRally pic.twitter.com/7dZq2O2eol
— Moms March for America (@momsmarchusa) February 23, 2019
Speakers included Johnston, former HGTV personalities David and Jason Benham, Love Life ministry founder Justin Reeder, black conservative leader David Harris Jr., worship musicians Phil King and Cody Ray Lee, New York bookstore owner Jon Speed, and Blythe Mullen, an eight-year-old girl saved from abortion after her biological mother was told about adoption.
“We are standing with these forgotten and thrown-away children, and promising to do all that is in our power to end the bloodshed and defend the weak,” Johnston told the crowd, the Albany Times-Union reported. “We are here in New York, where they just not only signed, but celebrated by lighting up the World Trade Center pink, the execution of babies.”
“It's time to rebuild, pick up the pieces,” Reeder declared. “I'm talking about a culture shift, where families stop running to the abortion center for the answer, and they begin running to the local church. That's the shift that I believe” in.
The Times-Union reported that attendees cried during the service, with some prostrating on the ground during prayer. At one point, an estimated four dozen pastors went on stage and fell to their hands and knees.
“The focus is New York state. We want the citizens of New York to express their displeasure with this thing and do more than just say, go to a March for Life rally or do more than give $5 to a pro-life lobbyist, but actually be involved in something that’s not just a pep rally,” Speed, who made headlines last month by closing his store for a day in protest, told the Christian Post last week.
The Day of Mourning event’s website also promotes a petition to Cuomo urging him to reverse his support for the law, which has more than 19,000 signatures at the time of this writing. For the time being, however, the governor remains defiant, and the law does not appear to have impacted his polling among New Yorkers.