Today I participated in a conference hosted by the Chiaroscuro Foundation. Here are my remarks from the press conference:
I sure appreciate the courtesy of being invited, and am honored to be in such distinguished company for a noble cause about which we are all very passionate.
Thanks, journalists, for your interest.
For the first time in my happy twenty-one months as a New Yorker, I am embarrassed to be a member of a cherished community I now — — usually with a lot of pride — — call home.
That 41% of New York babies are aborted — — a percentage even higher in the Bronx, and among our African-American babies in the womb — — is downright chilling.
This New York community is rightly celebrated for its warm welcome to immigrants, for its hospitality, sense of embrace and inclusion, and gritty sensitivity for those in need.
But we are tragically letting down the tiniest, most fragile and vulnerable: the little baby in the womb.
We have to do more than shiver over these chilling statistics!
I invite all to come together to make abortion rare, a goal even those who work to expand the abortion license tell us they share.
A quarter century ago, Cardinal John O’Connor publicly stated: “Any woman who is pregnant and in need can come to the Church and we will help you,” a pledge Cardinal Egan, and now I, reaffirm. Through our Catholic charities, our adoption services, our lobbying on behalf of pregnant women and mothers of infants, our support for life-giving alternatives to the decision all call tragic — — abortion, — — in our education of youth for healthy, responsible, virtuous sexual behavior, our health care, — — we have done our best to keep that promise, … and these haunting statistics only prod us to keep at it.
Mother Teresa remarked that the worst poverty was to take the life of a baby so we could live, as we want. New York does not deserve the gravestone, “Abortion capital of the world.” Our boast is the Statue of Liberty, not the “Grim Reaper.”
Thanks for listening.