Despite San Francisco’s reputation as a bastion of liberal culture and ideals, organizers for the city’s annual Walk for Life – a sister event to the East coast’s March for Life in the nation’s capital – say the pro-life movement there is “paradoxically energized,” and expect record turnout at the event on Saturday.”Americans voted for our new president because they do care about justice – they wanted to shut the door permanently on the prejudice and injustice that is a blemish on our history,” said Walk for Life co-chair Dolores Meehan. “We hope President-elect Obama will bring the concern for Americans’ well-being that he is showing in tackling the economy to bring justice to women in crisis pregnancies and to the unborn – the most vulnerable of all.”
More buses have registered to come to the event than ever before, and there is still another week to go, said Walk co-chair Eva Muntean.
“We always have a flood of last-minute sign-ups,” said Ms. Muntean, who runs the Walk’s logistics. “I never want to predict turnout, but it is looking big this year.”
Last year, crowd estimates were 25,000 to 30,000 for the rally and walk along the city’s Fisherman’s Wharf and Embarcadero.
“This is the 5th year and it has become part of the fabric of the city and the state,” said Ms. Muntean. “People just plan to come as part of their January.”
The first year, January 22, 2005, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom spoke at a rally blocks away from the Walk, condemning the Walk and its ideals. Today, the organizers say, Newsom keeps a low profile. Likewise, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, which declared January 22, 2005 “Stand up for Choice Day,” has chosen to avoid mentioning the Walk so far this year.
The group boasts what they see as a sign that the pro-life movement might be gaining ground in the “most liberal of liberal cities”: a billboard declaring “Abortion Hurts Women,” and advertising the Walk in the middle of San Francisco’s downtown, has only been defaced once since it was erected New Year’s Eve.