Linda Sciotto, left, and Lorraine Zito at the rally in Hauppauge...

Linda Sciotto, left, and Lorraine Zito at the rally in Hauppauge on Saturday. Credit: Morgan Campbell

Anti-abortion activists gathered Saturday in Hauppauge to call for support for ending abortions and to urge strong voter turnout this fall for candidates aligned with their beliefs.

March For Life NY organized the rally, which drew more than 130 people at its peak at Armed Forces Plaza and featured music performances and speeches from anti-abortion advocates and political hopefuls including Republican gubernatorial candidate Andrew Giuliani.

Supporters held signs with messages such as "Abortion is not peaceful," "Pray to end abortion" and "I am a child, not a choice," with some standing at roadside as passing cars honked in support.

Bridget Gareau, 19, of Hicksville, and John Curtis, 19, of Levittown, were attending the rally together. Gareau said she believes that life begins “from the moment of conception to the time of natural death.”

“I think that everyone has individual rights, and I think that those rights should extend to people in the womb. If you do not respect rights as a country, how can we respect any rights after that? Life is the first right that should be protected,” Gareau told Newsday.

Curtis said it meant a lot for him to hear the news of the leaked draft ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court indicating the court may overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision establishing a constitutional right to an abortion.

“Abortion is banned in a lot of other countries, and I think it’s important to preserve life,” Curtis said, adding that while it would be “a long process,” he believes Roe v. Wade will ultimately be repealed.

News of the leak prompted abortion-rights rallies on Long Island and nationwide last month. 

Rose Connolly, 54, of Southold, said while she has heard arguments that repealing reproductive rights is imposing others’ morality onto others, for her, it comes down to a choice of right and wrong. Connolly, who has a nephew who is gay, said she had heard his concerns that gay marriage also could be targeted if Roe v. Wade is repealed.

However, Connolly feels those issues are separate from one another.

“We can’t lump this issue in with all of those other issues. We’re talking about life, where those are different choices of your behavior. But life is life or death,” she said.

Elizabeth Avalos, 40, of Cutchogue, said there could be stricter laws on things like child support enforcement and holding fathers accountable that could help all people involved in pregnancies without having to resort to abortion.

"... when you think about things that have the right to live, we human beings have to love our own. We have to love them,” Avalos said.

However, abortion rights advocates such as Sharon Golden, 73, who has helped organize abortion rights rallies in Nassau County, say reproductive rights must be protected for women’s safety.

“Women who have to have abortions will do it, they just won’t have the safety to do it,” Golden told Newsday. “They won’t have it with a hospital, they won’t have it with a physician, they won’t have it in a safe environment. You’ll be going back 50 years.” 

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