Almost 1,000 demonstrators at the "New York for Life" rally and parade in downtown Buffalo heard anti-abortion speakers Saturday denounce the political "waffle factor."
Speakers ranging from Mayor Griffin to the Right to Life Party candidate for governor criticized politicians not being fully committed to an anti-abortion stand.
"We're tired of putting up with waffling on protecting life," said Nellie Gray, president of the Washington March for Life. "It's a matter of life or death, and there should be no position in between for the politicians."
"I've never waffled in my life," added Griffin, a vocal abortion opponent. "I hope you won't compare me with Gov. Cuomo. I've been a right-to-lifer all my life, and I always will be."
Wearing placards proclaiming slogans like "Abortion Is Murder," the marchers began their parade at Lafayette Square and proceeded around several blocks before ending at City Hall. Almost all wore some kind of anti-abortion T-shirt or hat, and some sang songs or recited the rosary.
A Christian folk group greeted the demonstrators as they arrived in Niagara Square, where speakers seated on a city Parks Department mobile stage exhorted the crowd to continue the effort to ban all abortions.
"I say to you our Constitution says that every baby, even those not fulfilled outside the womb, is protected -- and that's unequivocal," shouted Louis P. Wein, a gubernatorial candidate from of Staten Island.
Wein, who was touring the area Saturday seeking votes on the Right to Life Party line and in his Republican primary challenge against Pierre Rinfret, said problems like crime and drugs indicated the nation's lack of "reverence for God."
"I'm a God candidate," he said. "I make no bones about it."
Some of the afternoon's heartiest cheers were reserved for James W. Comerford, Park District representative on the Buffalo Board of Education.
Comerford said he was "honored" by the gay community's recent move adding him to its "hall of shame" and accused one city principal of making birth control information readily available to students. He vowed to block promoting the principal, whom he said was aligned with Planned Parenthood.
"Planned Parenthood is worse than the Nazi death camps," he said, adding he has seen films of how abortions are performed.
"How they murdered the Jews was more humane than how they murder babies," he said.
Griffin did tell the crowd he can countenance abortion in some cases, indicating he has "problems" with cases involving rape or incest. The mayor said earlier that he turned down an invitation to run for governor on the Right to Life line because he did not agree with its position against all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest.
That countered the message of Miss Gray, who criticized Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus for recently vetoing a restrictive abortion bill because it did not allow abortion in those cases. She called such thinking a move to "appease the abortionists" and acknowledged such a division in the Right to Live movement.
"Any person in Right to Life who wants to propose an exception to the killing of a preborn child must be willing to take up the knife and kill the preborn child himself," Miss Gray said.