Wearing shirts picturing a mother and child with the question “Why can’t we love them both?” about 700 pro-life New Yorkers gathered in Albany on June 12 to stand up against the abortion expansion that would come from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ten point proposal on “equality for women.”

“They lined the corridors of the Capitol in solidarity to say no to this; they cheered for state-senate majority leader Dean Skelos, who has said the abortion language is extreme and unnecessary; they implored “pro-choice” senators to reconsider their positions,” Kathleen M. Gallagher, director of Pro-Life Activities at the New York State Catholic Conference, told the National Review Online today. “They were a peaceful pro-life presence in the halls of power, and they demonstrated respect for human life by their demeanor and their words.”

Last week, the bishops of New York State urged Catholics to let their elected officials in Albany know they do not support the proposed bill. “Instead of expanding abortion and making abortions even more prevalent, we would like to protect both the woman and the child in the womb. In New York, where one in every three pregnancies ends in abortion (and upwards of 6 in 10 in certain communities), it is clear that we as a state have lost sight of that child’s dignity,” they wrote. “We pledge all our efforts to defeat this proposal. We call on all pro-life New Yorkers to stand together with us and with all the leadership in Albany who share our conviction that we have no need for such a bill to become law. We need instead to enhance and promote the life and dignity of all human beings from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.”

Bishop William Murphy in his blog noted: “The Governor and his allies are well organized. We have to be united in supporting the legislators who will fight for us. We are blessed that Senator Skelos, the Senate Majority Leader is with us 100%. We are also fortunate that all the Long Island senators are with us. But Senator Skelos and the LI senators cannot do it alone. They need us to let our assemblypersons know where we stand.”

“The next two weeks are crucial. Together we can defeat this proposal. Together we can defend life in the womb and the dignity of women. With prayer and with courage, I believe we can reach that goal.”

The Diocese of Rockville Centre, with the Long Island Coalition for Life, sponsored a bus to Albany for this witness. The bus quickly filled up and there was a waiting list of additional people who wanted to take part in the event.