More than 200 people attended a march and prayer vigil on Saturday outside the site of a new women’s clinic in Jamaica that will offer abortions among its services.
Choices Women’s Medical Center, now in Long Island City, will relocate to 147-32 Jamaica Ave. in Jamaica as of Friday.
The protesters attended Mass at Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church on Parsons Boulevard and recited the Rosary during the seven-block march to what will be the patients’ entrance on 147th Place, and at the site.
A police escort accompanied the crowd, and barriers were in place to keep the marchers off the sidewalk outside the clinic. The demonstration was peaceful.
No one representing the clinic appeared to be on site Saturday.
Telephone messages left at Choices’ Long Island City offices seeking comment were not returned.
But the company’s Website states that it offers a full range of gynecological services, prenatal care for pregnant women and counseling as well as abortion services.
The site also said all medical and counseling services provided in Long Island City will be available at the Jamaica site.
The marchers’ morning began at a 7:30 a.m. Mass, during which Monsignor Philip Reilly criticized the name of Choices for a clinic that provides abortions.
He reiterated the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching that life begins at conception, and that abortion is a moral rather than a legal matter.
Reilly invoked the Declaration of Independence in criticizing the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Roe v. Wade, saying life is a gift from God.
“Congress and the courts do not make you a person,” he said. Reilly spearheads numerous anti-abortion efforts in the Diocese of Brooklyn.
He also asked the congregation to pray for the mothers and fathers who choose to end pregnancies, as well as for the employees and staff of the center.
Marchers recited only prayers outside the clinic.