Pro-life group denied permission to march in NYC St. Patrick's Day parade while mystery surrounds another anti-abortion group that may be allowed access.Getty

A New York-based pro-life adoption group that was denied permission to march in this year’s New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade claims that another group opposing abortion rights will take part – but the identity of the group is unknown.

Dr. Elizabeth Rex, a teacher of bioethics at Holy Apostles Catholic seminary in Connecticut and president of the Children First Foundation in New York, told the Irish Voice that her organization applied to march in the parade after it was revealed last September that a gay group will take part for the first time, with the blessing of this year’s parade grand marshal, Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

Rex said her group was denied a place in the line of march and received the decision only after sending a lawyer’s letter to the parade committee.

“I find it very disturbing that a door had opened for a gay group and been slammed in the face of a right-to-life group,” Rex told the Irish Voice.

She stated her clear understanding was that a right-to-life group would be allowed to march, as had been stated by parade spokesman Bill O’Reilly in a Wall Street Journal interview.

She said her group has been told that a right to life group will march behind 4th Degree Knights of Columbus Honor Guard banner, but that none of the right-to-life groups she had contacted knew anything about being asked to march.

“We’d like to know what right-to-life group has been approved. We have been asking around several groups and none has been approached,” Rex said.

She says that she welcomes the compromise to allow members of [email protected] to march behind their identifying banner this year, the first time a gay group has been given that right.

Rex says, however, that a fair compromise would be to have gays and a right-to-life group also taking part. However, she now has major questions as to whether a right-to-life group will take part.

“The parade committee needs to answer these questions,” she stated.

Bill O’Reilly, a spokesperson for the parade, did not have a definitive answer on the inclusion of a pro-life group as the Irish Voice went to press.