A massive anti-abortion march that met at San Francisco’s Civic Center drew thousands of people, some from as far away as Texas, in the annual West Coast March for Life on Saturday. The organizers schedule the event annually to commemorate the Roe vs. Wade decision of Jan. 22, 1973, which made abortion legal.
The event’s organizers reportedly gave strict instructions to the marchers vis-à-vis prospective opponents, writing, “NEVER, EVER TOUCH PROTESTORS. To maintain the peaceful and prayerful attitude of the Walk, please do not bring any graphic images of abortions to the Walk.”
That didn’t affect the use of signs, however; many of which, printed in English or Spanish, had messages bluntly addressing the issue, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. One read, “1/3 of our generation has been killed by abortion” and another stated, “Defiende la vida” (“Defend life”).
The march shut down Market Street as it traveled from Civic Center Plaza to Justin Herman Plaza on the Embarcadero; it filled seven city blocks.
NBC Bay Area reported that the Vatican ambassador to the U.S., Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, addressed the marchers and succinctly said, “It could be, perhaps, the only one who does not have the freedom of speech is the unborn.”
Roughly 100 obstreperous abortion advocates reportedly showed up, organized by a group called Stop Patriarchy, the Chronicle reported. Their signs included messages such “Abortion on demand and without apology” and “Stop the war on women.” They shouted at the marchers as they walked by.
The West Coast version of the March for Life sprang from the National March for Life in Washington D.C., which has been held every year since 1974.