Pro-life organization March for Life New York held a march on the New York State Capital on June 3rd, 2019. Marchers began at the Empire State Plaza Children’s Memorial. Key members of the organization, including President Joni Lupis, held prayer and spoke words of encouragement to her fellow pro-lifers. From there, hundreds of marchers made their way to the capitol building. Once they had arrived, a pro-life rally began with keynote speakers, including Pastor Lupis herself. Hundreds were in attendance from all areas of the state. Members of the Proud Boys, American Heritage Girls, and many other pro-life organizations were in attendance.
Exclusive Interview with Pastor Joni Lupis
March for Life New York’s President, Pastor Joni Lupis, provided 71 Republic’s Peyton Gouzien with an exclusive interview on-site at the Capitol.
PG: “Would you like to introduce yourself?”
JL: “Hi, I’m Pastor Joni Lupis. I’m the President of March for Life New York. We have our 4th annual March for Life going on right now, right here in Albany at the New York State Capitol Building.”
PG: “What do you do for a living?”
JL: “I’m a Pastor. I pastor at Grace and Truth Church.”
PG: “Was today’s march a response to the recent law passed by New York State to allow abortions up to birth?”
JL: “Yes. Every year we have a march, but this year people are more passionate. People want to stop this law because enough is enough. It’s going too far. Babies are being brutally murdered legally, right before birth and if they live that brutal attack, the will be left to suffer and die, so we want to help the babies and we want to help the mom. Cause a lot of these mothers who had an abortion, they regret it. The baby they never knew, becomes the baby they never forget. So we also want to help them.”
PG: “Do you think the pro-life movement was emboldened by recent bills passed by most recently Lousiana, that are trying to protect unborn children and limiting abortions up to a certain point?”
JL: “Well yes. Alabama law now that the Doctors will go to jail for 99 years if they perform an abortion and abortion is banned. Other states are winning. Life is winning everywhere. Here in New York, it is very tough.”
PG: “Do you have any estimates on how many people have come out to today’s event?”
JL: “We were supposed to have 5,000. I don’t know if we have 5,000, I didn’t count them, but they’re still coming. Though registered, 5,000 registered.
PG: “Are there any specific organizations you are partnering with to help make this march possible, or is it just the March for Life New York?”
JL: “March for Life New York has a lot of people with us. We have 40 Days for Life, we have Silence No More, and we have Created Equal. Everybody joins here in New York to come and to march for life.”
PG: “What would you say to any pro-choice people here, like what is your goal with people who are pro-choice that are here?”
JL: “I would like them to speak to my friends who have had abortions. I have never had one, but many people here have and they regret their abortion and they would like to tell these pro-choice why they regret it.”
The March for Life Supporters
Many of those in attendance brought their own signs and reasons for attendance. Some signs showed graphic imagery of fetuses and abortion procedures. Others, such as the Proud Boys group, invoked the use of clowns and the Clown World meme to express their Pro-Life opinion. Proud Boy members Bryan and Mike said they came out “to show their support for everyone that is pro-life and does want to end abortion”. Bryan expressed that “abortion is infanticide”, with Mike suggesting a similar sentiment. The two men believed recent legislation on abortion from both the pro-life and pro-choice sides “bolstered” the pro-life movement.
Pro-Life and Pro-Trump Organization “MAGA Queens” President Thomas Zmich came with his organization from Queens to support the march. Zmich also expressed that the pro-life movement was emboldened by the recent passage of pro-life legislation. Zmich said “it is a beginning. People are starting to recognize, that yes, this is what the country wants”.
Pro-Choice Protesters Decline to Comment
While many pro-life rally goers were keen on being interviewed, the same was not true of pro-choice counter-protestors. On one of the street corners of the event, many gathered to support abortion rights. Upon prompting of an interview, the protesters declined.
Members of the Proud Boys commented on their refusal to comment. “I think it says a lot when you refuse to comment. Their argument is nothing. Maybe research things and talk to people. I know there are people here with signs like ‘I regret my abortion'”, said one member.
Members of the rally unsuccessfully tried to converse with counter-protesters.
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