SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Thousands of people who want to outlaw abortion marched Saturday in San Francisco in the 14th annual Walk for Life.
The event came days after the 45th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
Many people carried signs with messages such as: “I march for the unborn” and “defund Planned Parenthood.”
Police didn’t provide a crowd count but organizers expected some 50,000 participants. A similar event last week in Los Angeles drew 35,000 people.
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There was a strong police presence at the San Francisco march. At one point marchers were met by several hundred counter-demonstrators but there was no violence.
Marchers had been urged to follow a code of conduct to maintain a “peaceful and prayerful attitude” that included avoiding confrontations with counter-protesters and not carrying signs with graphic abortion images.
A Roman Catholic Mass and a rally at Civic Center Plaza preceded the march.
Speakers expressed optimism in light of President Donald Trump’s support for their cause voiced in an address last week to the March for Life demonstration in Washington, D.C.
Trump supports a bill in the Senate that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, although it has little chance of passage.
Speakers took a distinctly religious bent, with some referring to abortion providers as demonic and evil.
“They have adopted falsehood,” said Joseph Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League. “They kill innocent, defenseless human beings.”
Others argued that abortion was a women’s health issue.
“We’re here to proclaim that abortion hurts women. We’re here to take back the narrative that abortion is a right and personally, I’m here to take back pink,” said a pink-jacketed Eva Muntean, co-chair of the Walk for Life West Coast.
“We will not rest until every life is protected in America,” she told the crowd.