Sidewalk counselling in New York by the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants

New York has everything, from the sublime to the ridiculous.  The Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, a robust group of pro-lifers that pray and witness outside abortion facilities throughout the city, are definitely part of the sublime.  I got to witness them in action during my recent stay in New York.

The Helpers are active in various cities in the United States and Australia.  We even have a branch in Ottawa.  But New York seems to be their most active site.  In metro New York, they work outside nine different abortion facilities, inspired by Monsignor Philip Riley, who has been such a pillar for the Helpers and the pro-life movement.

The facility that I visited is called Choices Women’s Medical Centre in Long Island City (which is not on Long Island but in Queens).The picture on the right, which I got off the web (I didn’t want to take any pictures at the facility) shows the discreet entrance to the facility, under the scaffolding, in a grungy little neighbourhood.

This place is like the Seven-11 of abortion facilities.  It’s open 5 days a week from 7 am to midnight.  In the “city that never sleeps”, even the abortuaries barely stop running.  When I was there, about 5 clients per hour were entering the facility, which was “an extremely slow day” according to the experienced sidewalk counsellors.  Good grief, I’d hate to see this place on a busy day.  There must be so much in-and-out, like at those 15-minute-oil-change places.  Seems like a formidable opponent in the culture war.

But New Yorkers aren’t intimidated.   Everything is big in this town, including the pro-life movement.  A big city means a vast pool of pro-lifers from which to draw in order to minister at these facilities.  The Helpers are all over this place like white on rice.  They have sidewalk counsellors and prayer warriors on site 5 days a week from 7:15 am to 11:45 pm.  That’s right folks, pro-lifers in New York are game to stay out until midnight in a dingy neighbourhood to work for the pro-life cause. Now that’s commitment.

May God bless their excellent work.

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