Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco was a success, with organizers reporting more than 50,000 participants in the January 26 event. One speaker, the Rev. Clenard Childress, Jr., told participants, “Truth is rising up, and you are the picture of that truth. We will not draw back until every child is free.”
According to organizers, the event included a message from Lacey Buchanen, the mother of a disabled son named Christian. World reports that Christian was “born two years ago with a cleft lip palate and blinding cleft eyes. Many told Buchanen and her husband they should have aborted, leading Lacey to record a video with her phone and post it to the internet, ‘telling people how grateful I am for Christian.’ The video went viral last May.” World reports that Lacey told participants at the rally, “Thousands of lives have been impacted by Christian. I stand her today to say you will not regret choosing life.”
Other speakers included Elaine Riddick, who suffered forced sterilization by the state of North Carolina at the age of 14, and Kelly and Matthew Clinger, who told participants of the regret of past abortions.
Pope Benedict XVI also sent a message to the Walk through his representative to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Mari Vigano. The message, also posted on the Vatican Twitter feed, said the Pope “is grateful to all those who take part in this outstanding public witness to the fundamental right to life and the moral imperative of upholding the inviolable dignity of each member of our human family, especially the smallest and most defenseless of our brothers and sisters.”
World reports the two-mile march took participants from the Civic Center Plaza to the Ferry Building. Counter-protesters, who had earlier participated in a pro-abortion rally officially endorsed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, were waiting for the pro-life marchers. According to Eva Muntean, a Walk for Life organizer, “San Francisco has one of the highest abortion rates. We expect opposition. We do it here because it is needed so badly.”