By ANDREW TUTINO
Comparing today's practice of abortions to human sacrifices made by Aztec
Indians of ancient Mexico, the Rev. Frank Pavone led 60 people yesterday in the
15th annual Life March to protest abortions on Staten Island and throughout the
During his homily at a mass in Our Lady Star of the Sea R.C. Church preceding
the march, Father Pavone said modern-day people are practicing misguided
principles by allowing abortions to be performed.
"We are not doing any better," Father Pavone said. "We aren't killing human
beings at the altar. But you know what? We are doing it at places like the
Staten Island University Hospital."
Following the mass, participants recited the rosary as they made their way
from the Huguenot church to the hospital's Prince's Bay campus, which performs
With a police escort, the marchers, carrying placards depicting developing,
unborn fetuses that said "I am an American," passed curious onlookers at
Tottenville High School, where some students shouted "Right to life" in support.
At the hospital, no one confronted the marchers as Father Pavone lead the group
in song, prayer and peaceful protest.
A hospital spokeswoman said it would have no comment.
Father Pavone said he was pleased with the turnout for the event. "It doesn't
take much to awaken the community or upset the hospital."
During his homily, Father Pavone said the practices of the Aztecs were rooted
in the same fears pregnant women have.
"Both have fear and despair," Father Pavone said. "We want to show pregnant
women that God is not against them. We want to turn their fear into confidence
and their despair into hope."
He added that many programs are available for pregnant women, including
counseling, job training, and help with medical expenses, among others.
Information about such programs is available on his group's Web site at
For marchers like Louis Menchaca, 60, of Manhattan, protesting abortion is
more than being a good Christian, he said.
"I love our country," Menchaca said, as large wooden rosary beads draped
around his neck rocked back and forth during the march. "But babies are being
killed and that has to stop. This country is going downhill fast, if the
practice of abortions doesn't stop. This is such an important issue."
Marietta Canning, the president of the Right to Life league, also invoked
patriotism in speaking about the march.
"We represent the spirit of freedom, and the unborn baby has no freedom," she
said. "This is the will of God. We say 'From the womb to the tomb.' These are