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DAY 36: On the streets of New York

October 27th, 2009 by admin

A few days ago, I mentioned that Shawn Carney, our 40 Days for Life campaign director, was headed to New York City. Shawn made a short video account of his visit to the 40 Days for Life campaign in the city labeled “the abortion capital of America.”

If you only watch one video during this 40 Days for Life, it HAS to be this amazing clip.

During the brief video — which was filmed right on the street in Queens — you will:

  • Hear from a volunteer who puts in 6-10 hours EVERY DAY outside of two of the largest abortion centers in the United States
  • See hundreds of passers-by receiving a pro-life education on the street
  • Discover the challenges of holding a campaign in a crime and drug infested area — on the spot where a murder took place right before 40 Days for Life
  • Meet a sidewalk counselor who shares how they are saving lives in the midst of the hustle and bustle
  • Learn JUST HOW MANY lives have been saved in the Big Apple due to 40 Days for Life campaigns over the last two years — prepare to be amazed in the last 20 seconds of the video!

The video is loud. Everything’s in motion. It’s got attitude. But hey — it’s New York City!

Watch this video now. You’ll be glad you did!

By the way, Shawn is going to be on international TV tomorrow night! The third installment of the Being Human series makes its broadcast debut at 6:30 PM Eastern time on the EWTN network (5:30 Central, 4:30 Mountain, 3:30 Pacific). This episode interviews a physician, former abortion providers, and philosophy professor Peter Kreeft. They answer the question of when life begins and what personhood means.

EWTN is available on many cable and satellite TV services. The program may also be seen online at where you can click on “television,” then on “watch live.”

Chris Slattery, who is featured in Shawn’s video clip above, not only coordinates the 40 Days for Life campaigns in Queens and The Bronx; he also directs Expectant Mother Care Frontline Pregnancy Centers.

This organization offers internships for young people to learn first-hand about various aspects of pro-life ministry.

The interns’ blog tells a story of life on the sidewalk at Dr. Emily’s Women’s Health Center, the 40 Days for Life vigil location in The Bronx.

It was 11:30 in the morning, and the interns were going to a pro-life conference. As they were leaving, they watched two young women leave the clinic. Once they reached the sidewalk, one of the 40 Days for Life volunteers handed one of them a brochure.

One intern saw this, walked up beside them, and started asking questions. “Have you had an abortion? How far along are you? Have you been allowed to see a sonogram?”

She learned that the women had only been inside the clinic for a short time — it was already too late in the day to schedule an abortion. The two were sisters, she learned. The older sister was there for the abortion, the younger one for support.

The intern saw an opportunity.

“I offered her a free sonogram appointment and began to tell her about fetal development. She was so surprised to find out that her baby’s heart started to beat at 17 to 21 days,” the intern said. “She thought that wouldn’t happen until the sixth month. I asked her what she knew about the abortion procedure, what had they told her in the clinic? She knew nothing, so I started to explain.”

The woman who had tried to schedule the abortion said she wasn’t feeling very well, so the intern offered to treat her and her sister to lunch.

As they walked to the burger shop, the intern and the younger sister had to steady the older sister.

About that time, some clinic escorts walked towards them — and then walked right past. “They saw a girl in obvious distress who had just come out of the clinic,” said the intern. “They just didn’t seem to care!”

The pro-life people on the sidewalk tell the women going into the clinic that they are there to help them. “Of course, the ‘clinic escorts’ scoff at the idea,” the intern said, “but when it counts, the proof is in the pudding.”

They sat in that restaurant talking for a long time — “almost two hours,” said the intern. “She started to feel better. In the end, she decided not to abort her baby!”

By the time lunch was over, this young woman knew that even if she faced hardships or had to make sacrifices, it would all be worth it for the life of her child.

God bless pro-lifers in the Big Apple — and all around the world!

Here’s today’s devotional from Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life…


We are the defenders of true freedom. May our witness unveil the deception of the “pro-choice” slogan.


Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

–2 Corinthians 3:17

REFLECTION by Fr. Frank Pavone

Norma McCorvey (the former Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade) used to work at an abortion mill named “A Choice for Women.” She now realizes what a cruel irony that title was.

She saw first hand, just as pregnancy resource center counselors see, that women don’t get abortions because of freedom of choice, but rather because they feel they have no freedom and no choice.

They feel trapped, abandoned, desperate and afraid, and have been led to believe that abortion is their only option.

As Frederica Mathewes-Green has written, no want wants an abortion like she wants a Porsche or an ice cream; rather, she wants it like an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg.

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” That doesn’t mean that the Spirit allows us to do whatever we want or to decide for ourselves what’s right and wrong.

Rather, it means that the Spirit gives us the freedom to do what is right, the power to choose what is good, when we see it before us and yet feel pulled in the opposite direction. Liberty means that we no longer have to feel doomed to do what we know is wrong.

We are the people of the Spirit of the Lord, and when we take action on behalf of life, especially by being present at abortion mills, we are acting on behalf of true freedom, and imparting to those who are in bondage the power to do what is right.


Come, Holy Spirit. You are the Spirit of freedom, the source of all that is good, the power to do what is right. Fill us, and fill those who are in bondage today, feeling doomed to do what is wrong. Set them free, and help us to hasten them on the road to freedom, where your grace overcomes every temptation. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.


To download today’s devotional as a formatted, printable PDF to share with friends:


For Life,

David Bereit
National Director
40 Days for Life

33 Responses to “DAY 36: On the streets of New York”

  1. Dave Mattozzi Says:

    Let us all pray for an end to abortion.

  2. Susan Cunningham Says:

    Our youngest son, Ben, held a new baby for the first time this week. He began sobbing when we returned to the car. “Babies the size of Patrick are being killed by abortion, Mom.” We were already praying for, but then started attending, the 40 Days for Life here. We embrace all involved with love for your stand and encouragement. God bless you.

  3. tim anglin Says:

    amazing inspiring video, God bless us all, Tim

  4. tim anglin Says:

    Amazing video, God bless all of us, Tim

  5. Marie-Odile BĂȘnard Says:

    That sort of dialog would be impossible in France as there are no big abortion centers, only small departments somewhere in hospitals. When a woman gets in or out, you have no idea to what department she is going or coming from.

    I very much admire people who stay for hours praying under any kind of weather.

    Once babies are born, is there any follow up ? If a woman goes to an abortion center, she has a reason to do so. If the choice is to keep the child, the difficult reason is still there. So what is happening then ??

    May God bless you all.

  6. Sharon Benedict Says:

    This video let me know that I should be doing more for the campaign.
    Every year I’ve grown in my devotion to the 40 days for life. I pray
    that by next years campaign I’ll have grown stronger and will be able to
    head to a clinic and pray. These witness did it and I thank them for
    their testimony. God bless them all!!

  7. Cynthia Wilkinson Says:

    Yes, there is follow up. Here in Central Texas we have Hope Pregnancy Centers, and these types of organizations are found in all states. We direct people their way for free ultrasounds and information, and we/they follow through with prayer, counseling, baby showers, car seats, and in many other ways. The biggest ‘difficult reason’ we see is a lack of support/friends/family. We give this immediately and amazing things happen. Some choose adoption, and that too is a huge blessing on families, and babies.

    Expectant Mother Care Frontline Pregnancy Centers is another place to look for help and follow through. Google ‘Pregnancy Center’ in your area of the world. Most Catholic churches have assistance as well. Find out who and what is available in your area and be ready to share that information when the opportunity arises, as it will. Pray for and support these organizations, they are not only on the frontlines, they are also lobbying for law changes. It’s an enormous battle, but well worth it.

    God Bless..

  8. Becky & Hank Says:

    Thank you for this video. God bless each of you in New York and through out the U.S. who stand up and be counted. We shall overcome. Becky

  9. Jennie Stanbro Says:

    “Draw your strength from the Lord and from His mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10-11
    All of you in this video and all who participate across the country have put into action this quote from St. Paul. God bless 40 Days for Life! May He keep you safe and strong in your perseverence.

  10. Mary Griffin Says:

    A truly inspiring video. I live in Brooklyn where there are also many abortion clinics. On Saturdays I pray in front of one bldg where there are 2 clinics, there is another one a couple blocks away and yet another one about 5 blocks away. The more I pray in front of the clinics and watch these women going in to kill their babies, the more it affects me. There are hundreds of people who walk by these clinics when I’m there but it’s usually not hard to spot those on the way to kill their babies because they usually look like they are going to their own deaths which in many ways they are. Everyone needs to get involved in this in whatever way they can. It is the most important issue of our time. In my opinion there has never been a greater evil in the history of mankind.

  11. Jennifer Racancoj Says:

    The magazine the volunteer is holding up and said she uses for the Spanish speaking is from Human Life Alliance ( They have 3 different magazines, one for white people, one for blacks and one for Spanish speaking. They have the development of the baby inside, abortion methods, stories of people who had abortion and regret it and the case of rape and also blacks and abortion. I highly recommend the magazines at the clinic and to put in churches especially if you live near a city, to put the spanish and black ones in Spanish and black churches. It also has phone #’s for crisis pregnancy hotline phone #’s. Human Life Alliance suggested to me to ask the blacks if they want to read about Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece, Alveda King, when calling them over to take one. I like learning about new ideas to get them to come over and talk to us. I just got the magazines and can’t wait to bring them to the clinic and try it.

  12. Melissa Augustine Says:

    Amazing stories! I live in a small town in rural Kansas and seeing this video shocked me! I wonder how far a smile and a ‘How are you?’ can go? Obviously, it can go a long way as this Intern shows us. Let us all slow down in our daily lives and think of others whether it be through prayer, service or smiling at a stranger on the sidewalk. Thank you all who are participating in the 40 Days for Life in NYC and all over the world. You are all very inspirational and know you are in my daily prayers. Let us work together to end abortion! God Bless!

  13. Pam Yost Says:

    Hats off to a good and faithfully servants! God sees! Thank you,NY!!!

  14. Margy Farney Says:

    What an inspirational crew in NYC!! Keep up the great live-saving work that you are doing! God bless and keep you!

  15. minster beverley Says:

    thank you may GOD bless you and keep you may god shine his face on you all and give you peace in yeshua name

  16. Jacqui Fetsko Says:

    God bless your efforts! I am also participating in the campaign in Painesville, Ohio where the population is largely Latino. We have been distributing the precious ones in large quantities….we have been incredibly encouraged by the positive response to our efforts…praise God and let the truth be made known!

  17. ELizabeth Garibaldi Says:

    Even though I live in an area that does not have an “abortion mill” we are hosting a campaign – it’s often lonely at our sites, as there is often only one perosn there, and sometimes none – the response from people in their cars is mostly positive, if any repsonse is given – nods, thanks yous and thumbs up, horns honked – I know my prayers, whether I am at the site with my sign or praying in my home, in my car or in a chapel are united with those across the country and aiding those on the “frontlines” to do the work they are doing through the power of the Holy Spirit. I continue to lift up all those in the pro-life movemnet and the courageous work you are doing. Lives are being saved, heart and minds converted and we shall know that God has seen and heard us when judgement day comes.

  18. Deborah Garrison Says:

    Oh, Heavenly Father, YOUR Grace is Amazing!!! I pray for YOUR Grace to cover the Crowns of every head to the Soles of every foot with a fresh anointing for the Saints who are involved with Pro-Life around the world. I pray, Heavenly Father, that YOU would move mightily in New York City and within every town, city, village, or hamlet to STOP/HALT abortion mills in their deadly tracks. I pray for a swift move of YOUR Great & Mighty Hand to extend to us all now for a little more strength, a little more grace, a little more mercy, a little more love, a little more breath of life…as we are unable to continue on under our own strength and human capabilities. Hear our prayers today as each and every Saint continues on their own personal journey to end the unnecessary carnage around the world. “Whoever sheds man’s blood. By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man.” (Genesis 9:6). IN JESUS PRECIOUS NAME, Amen & Amen.

  19. Kathy Ingram Worthy Says:

    Yes we must leave the home, the office, the church. I remember
    Peter got of the boat when He saw Jesus. We must get out of
    our boat and make a difference. Thank-you Jesus for showing us
    the Light.

  20. Gary White Says:

    Thank you Lord for your presence in the lives of those who stand up today to prevent this usless killing of your creation, by trying to help others Choose Parenthood, Choose Life! Yes, the Joys of Parenthood come with many messes to clean up, but that “Joy” far outweighs the sacrifice, the dicipline, the work, the dedication it takes to grow yourself into a parent, and raise up a child into a life of raising others! In Christ
    there is Life, and Choosing Life over procrastination and persecution,
    always brings His Light into the World! Be strong today, and be a witness of your choice for Him. “Praise God!” Amen!

  21. Brian Walker Says:

    “…If I can make it there. I’ll make it anywhere…” You know the lyric, (Sinatra) and it’s true! That’s the # 7 train, if I recall thundering overhead, but it cannot drown out the powerful witness of Kris, Ray and the rest of the team.

    As a former New Yorker I know how the city can grind you up, spit you out and it’s sheer size can isolate you and make you think there is no help out there.

    Thank God for the “in your face” challenge form Kris Slattery. We have no excuse. Forty Days and all ongoing sidewalk counseling is as much a mission field as Africa, South America or eastern Europe.

    The mission goes well beyond just saving the baby. It’s counseling, leading men and women to salvation, encouraging men to be men, women to see themselves as God see them, referring them to job training and pro-life physicians and so on.

    Thanks for this powerful video! We have no excuses. James 1: 22, let’s be doers of the word.

  22. Mrs. Patty Detterich Says:

    God spoke to me at the end of August 2007, when Nancy Pelosi told a Meet the Press news person something that wasn’t true. She said,”The Catholic Church doesn’t know when life begins.” Having just retired from teaching, I knew exactly how I was going to spend my spare time. Even after “40 Days For Life” is over my friends and I pray at the Planned Parenthood in Orange, CA. You can pray at the abortion mills, too. God is watching. He is smiling. He is pleased. I pray more people stand up and come to pray at an abortion mill. YOU CAN DO IT.
    God bless the wonderful people who work to save babies’ lives in the toughest areas of New York.

  23. Suzanne Formanek Says:

    I’m amazed at the commitment you folks have made and praise God for your perserverance. I’m not able to be part of this 40daysforlife as I live in Prague, Czech Republic. Nonetheless, I begin each day with the rosary from here believing that it will help strengthen the warriors for the day ahead. I look forward to being involved in Canada in the Lenten 40daysforlife, assuming that it will be held. Keep up the wonderful work.
    Suzanne Formanek

  24. Carmen Yankajtis Says:

    GOD Bless 40 Days For Life’s Team!
    It amazed me to learn that men are the founders of this campaign! This is my first year joining this growing movement, I actually just got back home from praying at a “planned parenthood” site and I am FULL of energy…can’t stop thanking GOD for all of the people involved in this campaign. Another thing that amazes me is the fact that we get more thumbs up from men than we do from women…
    I want to go on and on talking about the WONDERFUL experience this has been for me…but I can’t. May GOD bless you all and keep His babies safe.
    VIVA LA VIDA!!!!!!
    Carmen Yankajtis

  25. Elaine Says:

    Jesus, oh how You weep at what inhuman things that are being committed against the innocents, like days of old when Herod ripped baby boys out of the hands of mothers. But today, they are being ripped from the only place they know that is safe, their mother’s womb. Oh, Jesus, thank you for your Mercy. Empower the “missionaries” on the streets today at the “clinics” that dare take the life and shed that innocent blood that YOU put together. Bless and give wisdom to those who pray outside these death palaces. Open the eyes of the women who come there seeking “relief”, not knowing it is the beginning of their heart pain for the rest of their lives. Thank you Jesus for loving us. Thank you for your Spirit working among your people. Thank you for the “yeses” that we have said in serving YOU the One and Only God Almighty, Who was, Who is and Who is to come. To you missionaries on the streets, thank you from those of us who stand in prayer with you, and give what time we do have to stand for Life. Hebrews 11,1…..truly believe.
    In Christ and His Holy Mother

  26. Joan Okada Says:

    Praise God for the wonderful work you are doing NYC. We have a 40 Days in Orange, CA and it has been a challenge this time as PP seems to be telling the people not to listen or take information from as we offer it at the driveway. We had 38 last season but only 2 so far but we are so thankful to the Lord for those 2 and what He is doing with the hearts of the people working there as we continue to love and pray for them. God is doing the rest. He is faithful and we love Him.

    Thanks for some ideas like the magazine you hand out. God bless all who are praying and counseling for 40 Days for Life.

  27. carole kopera Says:

    i give a lot of credit and thanks to those of you who are at the abortion clinics. i pray for you while you do Gods work. i will definately be a part of “40 days for life” next year after reading what a change it has made in all those mothers that came there to the clinic. I also plan to pray outside our local abortion clinic during lent as was mentioned . keep up the good work God love you all

  28. Esther Davis Says:

    I can’t find words to express the good all of you are doing in New York and our country. We all know Who has the victory in this battle of evil against good. May God be praised!!

  29. Dot Redmann Says:

    We are also actively working on 40 Days for life in TriCities, WA on the west coast. We have very committed people. A local priest prays on his
    knees the rosary in front of the abortion mill. The rocks and concrete are
    painful to kneel on. His witness is spiritually inspiring. We are having a
    positive effect on our community. We are praying for the closure of the
    only abortion mill in this small community of 3 cities. God bless your work
    in NYC. We will lift you all up in our prayers. I am a post abortive woman
    that knows how wrong I was for taking a life and am now an enthusiastic speaker for Silent No More.

  30. Mary Bothe Says:

    God bless Chris Slattery and the folks with him. You can see that New Yorkers try to ignore the people handing out flyers. The only way to spark an interest is by being openly friendly–greeting them cheerfully. It really shakes them up, because they are insulated against possible attack by some “weirdo” by not making eye contact.
    I was born in the Bronx, lived there over 50 years, and lived in Queens for 10. So, don’t get discouraged. New Yorkers have big hearts, once you can show your sincere friendliness. These folks are used to being pushed around by solicitors, con artists, street hoodlums, and even crowds on subway platforms. You have to expect them to be cautious. An open, smiling face is always the way to a New Yorker’s heart and mind.
    God be with you always. Great effort! -really good video. Mary

  31. James Compton Says:

    Great clip!! I love Chris Slattery’s poignant humor and bright enthusiasm in the last couple minutes! We can get EXCITED about this! Go teams!

  32. Mary Bothe Says:

    In NY, in the 90’s, I overheard a woman on my job discussing her recent abortion. She described a situation where she was one of many, lying on a bed in the hall of the clinic. They gave her medicine which started contractions. When she pleaded with them for relief of the pain, they said that it would be over soon, and walked away. She was horrified at the fact that the hall was lined with aborting women, and they were all being ignored by the clinic staff.
    They delivered their babies on that bed, got up, and went home!

    This woman lived to tell the tale, but I was so shocked at the way so many women accept this treatment, because they are inundated with misinformation. Thank God for 40 Days for Life! May God’s Voice be heard through the prayers and fasting for life! Thanks to all who heard His Voice, and came out to witness. God bless you.

  33. Mary S. Says:

    I am surprised and haunted by this video clip. You see, my aunt lives just down the street from where this was filmed, and I walked down that very sidewalk on October 30th without realizing what I was passing, since I had not yet watched the clip. This sidewalk is usually lined with all kinds of people attempting to shove flyers, cards, and other literature into the hands of passers-by. I live in Nevada, and have taken that train and climbed up and down those very stairs in the background many times when in the city. On my next visit, I will be mindful of what is happening behind those doors, and will pray as I pass. God bless you and all who are involved in any way with 40 Days for Life!

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