by Dan Gura
The Walk for Life West Coast is just the kind of pro-life event I like to see—people taking action out on the streets of America to stand up for life. I pray that the Walk will be a great success, and bring many more people actively into the movement.
—Joe Scheidler, National Director, Pro-Life Action League
On Saturday, January 23rd, my son, Tony, and I joined over 30,000 in answering Joe’s prayer. Yes, Joe, the Walk was a great success.
Rain Can’t Deter Pro-Lifers
Unlike previous years, the sky over San Francisco was pregnant with rain when we arrived…yet thousands were already waiting at Justin Herman Plaza to hear the speakers.
About ten minutes before the hour-long program began the drizzle began; soon scores of pro life signs bobbed above a sea of umbrellas. The sprinkle turned into a steady rain—yet they continued to come. They arrived on foot, by car, and in an almost endless parade of buses. After four days of rain the mud was ankle deep in many places on the plaza but I did not hear one complaint.
Paltry Showing By The Opposition
Across the Embarcadero a motley handful of pro-aborts waited in front of the Ferry Building for the noon kickoff of the march. One held a megaphone and screamed repeatedly, “I was at a clinic last week and a group of anti-choice zealots showed up holding chopped up posters of fetuses.”
“Do you think he means they were holding solid posters of chopped up babies?” Tony asked.
How few pro-aborts showed up in this liberal bastion? Well, the largest newspaper in the city, the San Francisco Chronicle, reported, “Organizers and participants of the abortion rights demonstration worried about their paltry showing.” (No friend of Life, the paper referred to the prayerful Walk as an “anti-abortion rally.”)
We were about twenty feet behind the Walk’s leaders. A handful of malcontents, who identified themselves as members of the Socialists Workers Party, kept pace with us (on the sidewalk) chanting that timeless classic: “Keep your rosaries off our ovaries.”
March Stretches A Mile
In previous years the police restricted us to a couple lanes of the road; this year they gave us the entire pavement from curb-to-curb. Marching thirty and forty abreast the procession eventually stretched about a mile, from the Plaza all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf.
Church groups marched under their banners while others prayed the Rosary (in English and Spanish). Thousands of Pro-Life signs were held aloft for the tourists and locals to see.
Then a small miracle happened. The rain stopped and the Socialists vanished. All that could be heard during the rest of the march were voices raised in praise and prayer.
I Can’t Imagine What Life Would Be Like
That evening, while still wearing our bright red Pro-Life Action League CHOOSE LIFE t-shirts, we went to Schroeder’s, a German restaurant that’s been around since 1871, for dinner.
Our waitress walked over and announced, “I love your shirts.” She then went on to testify
I was nineteen and all of my friends said I was too young to have a baby. The father disappeared and everyone said I should have an abortion. Now every time I look at my two month old daughter’s perfect face, I’m ashamed to admit that I even considered it for a second…and I can’t even imagine what life would be like if I had made the wrong choice.
Before I left for the March, Joe gave me a couple of CHOOSE LIFE caps. Sorry Joe but I need another one—I gave mine to my waitress. Her red pony tail looked great hanging out the back of it.
See more pictures at the PLAL Flickr page.