SAN FRANCISCO—Tens of thousands of anti-abortion protestors congregated at San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza to march down Market Street for the annual Walk for Life on Saturday, January 23. Protestors could be seen for miles holding posters, balloons, stop signs, and baby pictures. Some attendees disclosed they had driven cross-country into California from all over the United States.
The annual march takes place on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortions in the United States. The year 2016 marks the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The march began at 12:30 p.m., and a rally was held at the plaza before attendees marched to the Justin Herman Plaza.
Walk for Life West Coast organization’s goal is to peacefully protest to change the perception of abortion, and to end violence to women and children; physically and emotionally.
“There were about 50,000 to 60,000 people there marching,” said John Reynoso Martinez Jr. in a social media post. He added, “Awesome day in San Francisco standing in the gap for unborn innocent little babies!” The demonstration included a speech from founder of the Center for Medical Progress David Daleiden, who “became a public figure [in 2015 after producing] a series of videos that purported to expose Planned Parenthood ’selling baby parts.’”
According to Walk for Life West Coast’s site, Daleiden has since been facing a lawsuit by the organization for violating state and federal laws, including trespassing and illegal documentation. Walk for Life West Coast co-chair Eva Muntean stated “We, and we think most Americans, are proud of David for exposing these practices, and we are proud to have him as a speaker at the Walk for Life West Coast.”
Protestors were met with about 100 pro-choice opposing protestors at Market and Powell Street arguing women’s rights. “Forced Motherhood = Female Enslavement: Abortion on Demand Without Apology” argued demonstrator, Michael Slate. She added, “Important demonstrations are being mobilized…on the vicious war on women and women’s fundamental right to abortion and birth control…These demonstrations come at a time of extreme emergency: abortion clinics are being set on fire, vandalized, and shut down…anti-abortion fanatics are stalking, terrorizing, and even murdering people…women everywhere are being hounded, harassed, and shamed on their way into the clinics.”
Another attendee, Imani C. Davis broadcasted a call for counter-protestors, stating “abortion is a right, and should not be treated as a privilege- the female body is not an incubator!”