2002-11-02 / Community

Broad Channel Guv Candidate: ‘Abortion As A Issue Has Been Forgotten’

By Howard Schwach

Although Jerry Cronin has been featured in a number of televised debates with the other candidates in the race, there are not many local people who know that the Broad Channel resident is in the hunt for the Governor’s seat.

Cronin, who is running on the Right To Life ticket, knows that he can’t win the election, but he hopes that he will bring his "pro-life" message to the electorate and that he can poll the 50,000 votes necessary to keep that party on future ballots.

"There has been a downward slide in the number of people who vote the Right To Life line," Cronin told The Wave recently. "Abortion, as an electoral issue, has been largely forgotten."

That is why Cronin, who runs the Monsignor Ferris Life Center in Rockaway Park, chose to run in the first place.

"When I went in to vote for Mayor in the last election, I wanted to vote for a pro-life candidate, but there were none," Cronin said. "I asked a politically-savvy friend why, and he told me that the Right To Life Party was finished. I didn’t believe that."

Cronin added that, a few months later, the friend came to him and asked him if he would consider running for governor on the ticket.

"I went to St. Rose of Lima and I prayed," he said. "God did not scream, "Yes," but neither did God scream "No."

He decided to run and, while he knows that he might run last, he considers himself a credible candidate.

"I have been a teacher for many years and a writer for the Tablet, the Catholic newspaper," he said. "I have been running the Life Center for many years, and I see 400 girls each year, girls who are looking for alternatives."

He knows that abortion is the law of the land, but he remembers the beginnings of our nation.

"If you believe that a law is wrong, you have an obligation to express that," he says. "Legality does not equal morality."

He argues that the latest New York State Department of Health statistics show that there were 132,000 abortions in the state last year. About 48 thousand, he says, were done with tax money.

"There are more kids killed each day than the number of firefighters who died in the World Trade Center," he says. "That is an issue that is often forgotten."

When the election is over, Cronin will go back to teaching in a parochial high school and working with girls looking for an alternative to abortion. He hopes that his voice will be heard.

"What I like about this party, is that the people in the trenches do this joyfully," he concludes. "Good people can always disagree, but we believe that we are taking the high road."

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