January 24, 2009 was a blustery day in San Francisco. The skies were laden with gray clouds, which occasionally delivered sprinkles to the assembled multitudes. The crowd was roughly a third stronger than last year, numbering over 30,000 strong. (Click on the thumbnail below for a larger view of the crowd at Justin Herman Plaza.)
The walk was held a day after President Obama rescinded the “Mexico City” policy, clearing the way to use taxpayer dollars to fund abortion in foreign countries. At that time, President Obama also stated his intention to work with Congress to restart funding of the United National Population Fund. Funding was withdrawn from the UNFP after evidence that American dollars were being used to fund coerced abortions and sterilizations in China and elsewhere.
Rev. Clenard Childress, the founder of LEARN, had some hard words for our new President. “President Obama is the fulfillment of what the abortion industry always wanted and that was a black face to validate abortion.” Former NARAL member and African-American Karen Shablin, the founder of Feminists for Life, also spoke at the event, pointing out that 37 percent of abortions are performed on black women, who make up only 13 percent of the population. An undercover investigation in February 2008, revealed that Planned Parenthood in seven different states were willing to accept donations for the express purpose of aborting black babies. Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, was an unapologetic advocate of eugenics.
After the speeches were given, we walked onto the Embarcadero and were on our way. (Click on the thumbnail below for a larger view of the pro-life marchers.)
There were small bands of pro-abortion protesters scattered along the route. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence made their usual appearance replete with condoms. Just the thing for a pro-abortion position as 60% of all abortions in the United States occur because contraception failed. Planned Parenthood vs. Casey settled that question when it admitted the connection:
…for two decades of economic and social developments, people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail.
There was also the usual sign equating Christians and fascism. Another year, another reminder that that fascism was never Christian, has in fact been condemned by Christianity, because it is a form of atheist statism related to communism. 47 million dead babies surpasses Hitler and Mussolini (though not Stalin or Mao). Perhaps I should have recommended Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg for this gentleman’s edification?
By far the funniest moment of the day came when my adopted child, walking with me, looked at this motley band of protesters and then said to me, “They don’t play music very good.” They were trying to play very loudly – and very badly – in what could only have been a poor attempt at drowning out our voices. Good luck! They actually reminded me of Stanford University’s band.
The walk continued along the Embarcadero until we reached the Maritime Museum, at which point the walk route turned left in front of the largest group of protesters which numbered about 500 people – if there were even that many. Hmmm… over 30,000 vs. 500. And the pro-life side appears to be a lot younger. (Click on the thumbnail below for a larger view of the pro-death group.)
After that corner there was another small group of women holding signs. The “My Body My Choice” proves that these women don’t understand that this is the biggest human rights issue of our time, precisely because it’s not her body. Babies have distinct bodies with distinct DNA. The “Women Deserve Better Than Forced Childbearing,” while trying to play on a pro-life slogan similarly fails because no one holds a gun to a woman’s head when she has sex and risks a pregnancy. As for the “No Wire Hangars Ever” sign, I simply refer you to one of my commenters last year who put it best:
Waving the coathanger is about the most brainless thing. Exactly WHO, pray tell, was supposedly wielding the coathangers pre-Roe, and would supposedly wield them post-Roe? I’ll tell you who: PROCHOICERS! If you don’t want women to die from coathanger abortions, LEAVE THE FREAKING COATHANGER IN THE CLOSET. Duh.
Inclement weather did not keep pro-life demonstrators away and it was a family affair as in years past. Bands played music, both during the walk and at the Marina Green, where the walk ended. Children played touch football and flew kites. I thought of all the women affected by abortion, including friends and former roommates, who may not be so fortunate as I am to have a child. I hoped for their healing and that they might someday be reconciled with their aborted children in the life to follow this one. There is always hope!
The local legacy media covered this event in typically spotty fashion:
- KRON – Channel 4 had no coverage.
- KPIX – Channel 5 had good coverage with raw footage of the march (although about two thirds of the raw footage was shot of the anti-life protesters) and a story on the news.
- KGO – Channel 7 had a small article about the San Francisco march, a small article about similar marches across the United States, and another on the Washington DC march.
- San Francisco Chronicle delivered a typically pro-death editorial.
The new media did a much better job:
- EWTN, however, had great coverage of the event, featuring Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J. and Fr. Frank Pavone, among others.
- Walk for Life West Coast 2009!!!!!!, A Shepherd’s Voice
- 30,000 participate in Walk for Life West Coast, Insight Scoop
- Walk For Life West Coast: San Francisco CA. January 24, 2009, Diakonia
- Walk For Life, Windshield Rosary
- Over 30,000 Join 5th Walk for Life West Coast, Christian Post