By Maria Rocha-Buschel
On the heels of a near government shutdown in Washington over funding of Planned Parenthood, a pro-life rally was held locally in front of Epiphany Church on Sunday. This particular rally, with around 40 protesters participating, was in support of a national pro-life movement called Life Chain that holds rallies every October.
Beth Mumm, a resident of Peter Cooper Village and the organizer of the event in front of the Gramercy Catholic church, said that Life Chain has been organizing these rallies for longer but she has organized this event in Manhattan for the last three years. The website for National Life Chain says that the organization has been holding rallies since 1987, when the first event was held in two small California towns.
Mumm said that most of the people who usually come to participate are parishioners at Epiphany, but this year there was also a group that traveled from Hicksville on Long Island, as well as a handful of people from St. Brigid’s on Avenue B and churches in Brooklyn. Representatives from the religious community also participated, including sisters from Sisters of Life and friars from Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.
While the original Life Chain rally that started almost 30 years ago consisted of an actual chain, one of people linking arms and standing in prayer, the current incarnation involves participants standing on the sidewalk and displaying signs that say “Abortion kills children,” “Adoption: the loving option” and “Jesus forgives and heals.”