10th Annual Walk for Life West Coast fills San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza, downtown streets
“Abortion hurts women” slogan for tens of thousands
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Tens of thousands of women, men and children walked, chanting and singing through San Francisco’s downtown, behind a banner declaring “Abortion hurts women” for the 10thannual Walk for Life West Coast Jan. 25.
“We are so proud to have the largest number of people and the largest number of youth showing the pro-life face of the West Coast,” said Walk co-chair Eva Muntean, who told the rally crowd in front of City Hall that their tweets about the pro-life event drove the Walk to the second most trafficked hash tag on Twitter.
“Never surrender conscience, even if the state demands it,” Baptist minister, Rev. Clenard Childress, Jr., founder of BlackGenocide.org, told the cheering throngs. “This walk sends a message to the state, to the government, to Washington, D.C.—I will not surrender conscience.”
“This is a debate about life and death,” said speaker Monica Lynn Snyder of Secular Pro-Life. “When you peel away the glossy wrappers, the pro-choice movement is about death.”
The Walk began with a noontime rally at Civic Center Plaza, followed by a two-mile walk, 10 and 12 abreast, filling Market Street, which was closed for the walk, ending at Justin Herman Plaza and the Ferry Building on San Francisco Bay.
“October Baby” actress Shari Rigby and Lamb of God Maternity Home founder Grace Dulaney also spoke. Nineteen speakers from previous years returned to attend the 10th anniversary event, including Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson, Frank Lee of Asian Americans Pro-Life, and San Francisco Hispanic pro-life activist Alfredo Abarca.
San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone read a letter from Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the Papal Ambassador tothe United States, sending the Walk “the affectionate greetings and spiritual closeness of Pope Francis” and continuing “Indeed, the Holy Father is most grateful to you for your readiness to show solidarity with the most innocent and vulnerable members of the human family.”
The first Walk for Life was Jan. 22, 2005, founded by a group of San Francisco residents to reach out to women hurt by abortion and to stand up for the right to life from conception until natural death. The Walk has grown from 7,000 the first year to more than 50,000, drawing participants from the Bay Area, California and the West Coast.
Each year the Walk is held on the Saturday closest to the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling.
For more photos and video of the day’s events: