On Saturday, May 4th, 2019 a coalition of progressive activist groups from across New York City faced off with Focus On The Family, a not-for-profit Christian conservative organization known for its extreme anti-abortion, homophobic, and Islamophobic views with headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The event titled “Alive in New York” took place on three stages in Times Square and included performances by Christian musicians, speakers, and the broadcast of a life 4D pregnancy ultrasound on giant jumbotrons. The shindig was organized in response to New York’s Reproductive Health Act signed into law by Governor Cuomo on January 8th, 2019, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. RHA strengthens Roe v. Wade and ensures access to safe and legal abortion in New York State. It legalizes abortion past 24 weeks but only if the woman’s health or life are at risk, or if the fetus is not viable.
Over 200 pro-choice and pro-LGBTQI rights activists equipped with signs successfully drowned out the performances with chants and music by the Rude Mechanical Orchestra across from the first stage before marching over to the two other set-ups where they were greeted by not very Christian like “Alive in New York” attendees.
In a press release, Lizz Winstead, founder of Lady Parts Justice League said, “We are dedicated to making sure wherever bigots spread lies, we are there to confront them with the truth. Focus on the Family spreads more garbage than a pack of NYC rats. New Yorkers don’t want their unhinged radical agenda in our backyard. Their hate isn’t welcome here or anywhere.” Anne Rumberger, a member of NYC for Abortion Rights added, “Access to abortion is a crucial part of women’s liberation and bodily autonomy. We are fed up with having our right to reproductive healthcare stripped aways, already virtually nonexistent for many poor women and women in rural areas. An important part of this grassroots movement for abortions rights is to challenge anti-abortion forces wherever they appear, and to demand that abortion be free and accessible for all.”
According to the Human Rights Campaign, Focus On The Family promotes the harmful practice of conversion therapy and describes children of same-sex couples as “human guinea pigs.” They also consider transgender people as mentally ill claiming that they suffer from a devastating condition.
The signing of RHA has enraged anti-choice activists who falsely claim that the law is a “baby killer” and who have shown an utter disregard for the difficult decisions women are faced with if their health or lives are in jeopardy, or if the fetus is not viable. The RHA does not allow abortions to be performed up to the moment of birth since this would not meet the ethical guidelines and laws medical providers have to follow. Also, women can not seek late-term abortions for frivolous reasons, or that medical providers would provide abortions in those circumstances.