NEW YORK, NY - The issue of life took front and center this weekend in New York City's Times Square. In its first "Alive from New York" event, Focus on the Family turned out a massive show of support to protect the unborn.
There were live performances and speeches. But the main event was a live 4D ultrasound. The ultrasound was performed on Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director and now a pro-life activist and the inspiration behind the movie "Unplanned."
"This is a baby! This right here is a baby. This right here is a baby! It's not a cat. It's not a parasite. This is a human being with a heartbeat, with its own DNA that is separate from my body. And this baby deserves to live," Johnson told the assembled crowd numbering in the thousands.
The event was held in response to the decision of New York and other states to legalize abortion up until the moment of birth.
Focus on the Family reported 10,000 people registered for the event, but it wasn't just the pro-life crowd that showed up.
"You're hateful! Get out of our city!" screamed a large and very vocal group of protestors set up across the street.
The ministry initially hoped to use the billboard jumbotrons in Times Square to show the ultrasound, but President Jim Daly told CBN News their plans fell through.
"Well, we had 12 weeks to plan the event so we went right to the jumbotrons to see if we could rent the space and initially they all said yes in different ways," he explained. "And then when we began to describe what we were going to do, they started not returning phone calls or saying that this would be too political and they're uncomfortable with it."
CBN News contacted those companies for a response.
ABC gave us this statement: "It is our policy that we do not accept live advertising on our Times Square video screen."
Clear Channel Outdoor responded: "Our company's longstanding practice is to carefully consider all serious and legitimate inquiries for media space. We stood ready to apply this same fair treatment to Focus on the Family, yet upon learning that ads on our billboards require a creative approval -- they never presented any artwork for review and instead galvanized their loyal supporters with misinformation to generate earned media attention."
"That's really not accurate," Daly explained. "They knew exactly what we were going to do and told us they were uncomfortable with it."
Still, the event turned out to be the largest pro-life event ever held in The Big Apple.
The state of New York may be considered by some the nation's "abortion capital," but seven other states and the District of Columbia also have no restrictions on late-term abortion.