Once upon a time, back when tens of thousands of people were permitted to gather together side-by-side, the sound of a baby’s heartbeat and the sight of his tiny pre-born form silenced a crowd gathered in New York City’s Times Square on a sunny Saturday afternoon in May.
It’s been called the “Times Square Miracle” – the culmination of “Alive from New York,” Focus on the Family’s pro-life event in May of last year that featured a live 4D ultrasound broadcast on four jumbotrons in mid-town Manhattan.
The COVID-19 global pandemic has scuttled our plans for a multi-city sequel this year – but we’re still bringing the miracle to the masses of historically unfriendly cable news by broadcasting the image of a pre-born baby on CNN.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon may deny the humanity and rights of babies inside the womb – but their viewers will still see what they and many others don’t want to admit.
It’s not a blob of tissue.
It’s a baby.
We’re planning to run our ads this week on both CNN and Fox News – a project designed to change hearts by championing the obvious humanity of life inside the womb.
The ad run will culminate with the one-hour online premiere we’re calling SEE LIFE 2020 on Saturday night at 8 PM, broadcast on Focus on the Family’s Facebook page.
The scene back in 2019 was almost straight from Central Casting, so we’re praying this year’s effort will reach exponentially more online.
The day last year started out chilly and overcast, a steady spring drizzle falling throughout the metropolitan area. Our crew had been awake all night, readying Times Square for this historic event, a 90-minute extravaganza featuring well-known Christian speakers and musical artists, culminating with a live 4D ultrasound of Abby Johnson’s pre-born baby boy.
There were many forces conspiring against it.
We struggled to secure our permits, with many warning us about New York City’s hostility towards pro-life organizations. Weeks of waiting turned to months. We finally secured permitting hours before the event.
The owners of the massive digital screens in Times Square refused to lease us space on their Jumbotrons.
Most were friendly to us – until they found out what we wanted to do. Suddenly, the spaces were no longer available. Multiple calls and emails went unreturned.
So, we brought in our own Jumbotrons on flatbed trucks.
Then came the rain and the wind of the weekend.
We prayed and we worked – a good combination.
Just 30 minutes prior to our start time, the rain stopped and the clouds cleared – and the crowds cheered.
In excess of 20,000 people were jammed inside the “crossroads of the world” – with many driving all night to get there. More than 100,000 watched online.
When the 4D ultrasound image of the future Fulton Johnson filled the screen and the sound of his heartbeat reverberated between the buildings, the crowd fell silent and tears streamed down faces.
Even more remarkably, protestors, who were chanting vile and wicked phrases, dropped their signs.
Once they saw what many have never seen – and what many forces didn’t want them to see – they couldn’t look away.
This is the power of the undeniable beauty of life inside the womb.
It’s the tug of truth and the grip of God’s grace.
You may not have read about the event in your local newspaper because most news outlets refused to cover it, including The New York Times, even though we were a block from their headquarters. They can’t argue with us in good faith – so they try and ignore us.
If you haven’t seen the ad, I hope you’ll watch a version of it below.
Please share it with your friends and family. Celebrate life. Please pray for another miracle in the hearts of those who will see it on CNN and Fox News.
And please tune in on Saturday night at 8 PM Eastern to SEE LIFE 2020!
Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family