One of the largest pro-life marches in the nation took place on Saturday in the heart of liberal San Francisco known for the Gay Pride Parade and anti-war protests.
The third annual Walk for Life West Coast attracted more than 25,000 participants, up from 15,000 last year, from all over California to support life. The rally took place two days prior to the 34th anniversary of the historic date when the Supreme Court decided to legalize abortion in the Roe vs. Wade case of Jan. 22, 1973.
"Walk for Life's primary goal is to reach out to women and men of all political persuasions with the message that abortion hurts all women," said Eva Muntean, Walk for Life co-founder, in a statement. "Why San Francisco? We live here. This is our home."
Several pro-life women shared about their own abortion experience and the regret they continue to have about their choice.
“No matter what politically correct nickname we’ve given abortion, there comes a moment when we know what we have done,” said Vera Lord, who had an abortion at age 34 and is now a national pro-life speaker, at the march according to Walk for Life West Coast.
“The dirty little secret behind what they call choice is that the baby isn’t the only one who dies; part of our souls dies, too,” said Lord. “We must make abortion not just illegal, but unthinkable.”
Organizers expected about 20,000 people - mostly older, white and conservative as in past marches. However, they reported a larger, younger, and more diverse crowd this year.
Alfredo Abarca of San Francisco Activist for Life and Family said he was “very impressed” with the number of young participant at the march that showed there is “another culture in society which defends and appreciates life.”
"The Walk for Life West Coast is a growing movement that is young, wonderful and vibrant," said Meehan, co-founder of Walk for Life West Coast. "Clearly, the pro-life movement is quite alive in California."
Speakers this year included Pastor Clenard Childress, Jr., regional director of the Life Education and Resource Network (LEARN); Talitha Phillips, speaker from the Silent No More Awareness Campaign; and Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life.
"For too long, San Francisco has been co-opted by the abortion industry," said Meehan. "With over 30 million women reported as having had abortions performed on them, it stands to reason that city that leads the nations in abortions, also leads the nation in women and men who have been hurt by abortion. The purpose of the Walk for Life is to reach these men and women with a message of hope and healing."
Thousands of pro-lifers will gather in Washington on Monday to commemorate the 34th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision for the annual March for Life rally at the nation’s capitol.