A record 25,000 pro-life people participated in the annual West Coast Walk for Life over the weekend.
The event is a way for residents of western states to be able to demonstrate their pro-life values without having to make the trip to across the country to Washington for the annual March for Life.
The event also focuses on more modern presentations of the pro-life message to the more liberal populations on the Left Coast.
Walkers paraded down thee streets of San Francisco after hearing from Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Gianna Jessen, a woman who survived an abortion, at a pre-walk rally.
Only about 250 pro-abortion protesters showed up to hurl insults and wave their banners in the faces of those attending the walk.
“I was aborted and did not die,” Jessen told the crowd. Instead, “the abortionist signed my birth certificate.”
King compared the pro-life movement with the struggle her family endured for civil rights for African Americans. “My uncle said injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere,” King said.
[21Jan08, San Francisco, CA, LifeNews.com]
Thousands March Against Abortion in S.F.
Thousands of abortion protesters marched along San Francisco’s waterfront Saturday, hectored by a smaller band of abortion rights supporters, as both sides marked the impending anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that established those rights 35 years ago.
Although passions ran high in both camps, the event – what is becoming an annual trek by the anti-abortion movement into what they consider the heart of abortion rights territory – was peaceful.
At least 10,000 abortion opponents were bused into the city from all over California, and from outside the state, for a morning rally in Justin Herman Plaza.
The two-mile Walk for Life West Coast was organized to coincide with the forthcoming anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion in the United States.
Mark Bradford, 50, said he flew from Philadelphia to march for his 6-year-old son who has Down syndrome.
“Every day I see the joy that my son brings to me and to my family,” Bradford said. “It’s distressing to me to think that under some circumstances that beautiful life would not be brought into the world.”
The event was also promoted as a part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration and featured several black leaders, including Alveda King, a niece of the slain civil rights leader.
“Some women may say that we are trying to take their civil rights,” King said. “But I had two abortions and one miscarriage, and I know that the civil right does not belong to me to take a life of another human being.”
Another speaker, Gianna Jessen, who was delivered alive during a saline abortion, overcame cerebral palsy to become a marathon runner despite doctors’ predictions that she was going to die, she said.
“I bear the mark of someone else’s decision,” said Jesse, who walks with a limp.
Greg Sprigg of Reno marched with his 14-year-old daughter, Natalie.
“She will get a good sense of morality and understand what our culture of death is all about,” he said.
The protesters said they wanted no confrontation with the abortion rights activists who spread themselves along the street chanting, “If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one.”
Said Tessa Gallagher, 17, of Menlo Park, an anti-abortion marcher, “I don’t think we should be hating each other because of the different opinions.” Tamia Thedford, a young African American woman who came to protest the protest against abortion, said she thought it curious that the overwhelmingly white crowd of abortion opponents was invoking the name of Martin Luther King Jr. “If abortion is criminalized,” she said, “I think the majority of women who are going to suffer are African American women and Latinos who don’t have the money to travel from state to state tofind services.”…
[20January 2008, San Francisco Chronicle, page B-1, Anastasia Ustinova,Sabin Russell; www.prolifeamerica.com, 21Jan08]