Thousands of people marched through downtown San Francisco on Saturday to protest abortion the day before the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
In its eighth year, Walk for Life West Coast was expected to attract more than 55,000 people. The demonstrators gathered outside City Hall for a rally before shutting down Market Street with a march to Justin Herman Plaza.
“If you don’t have life, you can’t get here. Nothing else matters,” said Lori Hoye, co-founder of Issues4Life, an Oakland-based organization that provides abortion education and support services to the black community.
Hoye, one of five speakers to address the throngs of people that crowded into the plaza at City Hall, called on churches to do more to counsel women considering abortion and provide services to help them raise a child.
Hoye said she supports adopting as an alternative for women who cannot — or do not want to — raise a child, but said she does not support adoption by gay couples.
The Walk for Life West Coast is among the largest pro-life rallies in the country and is held in a state that gets an A-plus grade from NARAL Pro-Choice America.
“California has been a leader in protecting reproductive choice,” said Ted Miller, a spokesman for the organization. “Everything from abortion access to access to contraception and services that ensure health pregnancy — California is a leader on all fronts.”
Pro-life advocates hope an increase in the number of teenagers and young adults engaging in the abortion debate will result in a new generation of pro-life lawmakers.
Danielle Cullum, 23, of Sacramento said she encourages her peers to vote, volunteer and become more educated about abortion. Saturday, Cullum volunteered for the California ProLife Council by collecting signatures for a petition to halt governments from spending public funds on clinics that provide abortions.