FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: June 8, 2016
Contact: Leslie Palma
STATEN ISLAND, NY — Priests for Life is standing in solidarity with Staten Island State Assemblyman Ron Castorina, who spoke the truth about abortion and the impact it is having on the African-American community as the Assembly prepared on Tuesday to vote on a bill that would expand abortion in New York State.
The bill ultimately passed the Democrat-controlled Assembly by a vote of 88-44 but Assemblyman Castorina spent his allotted 15 minutes passionately defending life, even as Democratic members tried repeatedly to get him to yield the floor. Unable to silence him, the Democrats stormed out.
“I urge my friends in the African-American community to be very careful about supporting this legislation,” Castorina said during his remarks. “We’re talking about African-American genocide.”
Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, as well as Executive Director Janet Morana and Evangelist Alveda King, head of Civil Rights for the Unborn – Priests for Life’s African-American Outreach – applauded the assemblyman, who won the seat during a special election in April.
Evangelist King, the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., defended Castorina from charges that his comments about black genocide were racist.
“The truth is not racist,” she said. “African-American communities are targeted by the abortion industry and too many of our babies die in abortion. These are facts that cannot be disputed. Mr. Castorina showed great courage in speaking this truth to members of the Assembly who clearly could not bear to hear it. Elected officials in all levels of government have begun to speak this truth, like Rep. Trent Franks, Katrina Jackson, a Democrat in the Louisiana Legislature, and Rep. Sean Duffy. They have likewise been criticized. Priests for Life and the National Black Pro-Life Coalition applaud these efforts and ask for prayer for these life advocates.”
Fr. Frank Pavone added, “Today I am especially proud to be a Staten Island resident, New York State is one of the most dangerous places in the country for unborn children, and Mr. Castorina clearly recognizes that things will only get worse under the bill. Four in ten pregnancies in the state end in abortion. Six in ten African-American babies die in the womb. Clearly New York does not need more abortion. What we need are more people like Mr. Castorina willing to go out on a limb to protect the unborn.”
Mrs. Morana, who is also the co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, said expanding abortion through the third trimester – which the bill accomplishes through a broad health exception to the current 24-week limit – will put New York women at risk.
“In 2013, Jennifer Morbelli, a 29-year-old kindergarten teacher from Westchester, traveled to Maryland to abort her daughter at 33 weeks because doctors believed the baby had a seizure disorder. Days later, Jennifer and her baby girl Madison Leigh were buried together in the same casket. Late-term abortion is dangerous for women. If this bill becomes law, we will be mourning more Jennifer Morbellis right here at home.”
Although the bill passed the Assembly, it is not expected to pass the Republican-controlled Senate.
Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.