Events are planned around the city today to mark the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision establishing a nationwide right to abortion.
This morning, Cardinal Timothy Dolan delivered what he called a Mass for the unborn.
Speaking afterwards, Dolan said he hoped worshippers would come away with a sense of hope and renewal.
"It's really become in many ways within the Catholic family almost a holy day, as throughout parishes in the U.S., people who gather in prayer, recommitment to the pro-life cause, acts of charity and love and service to women with troubled pregnancy and care for children and babies," Dolan said.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn along with representatives from Planned Parenthood of New York and other groups were expected to gather in Park Slope, Brooklyn today to push for passage of the Reproductive Health Act, which would expand abortion rights in the state.
The National Women's Liberation will also rally in Manhattan for unrestricted access to the so-called morning-after pill.
The 7-to-2 Roe v. Wade decision was announced on January 22, 1973.
It remains one of the most hotly debated rulings in the nation's history.