California Catholic Exclusive.
Demonstrations were held in front of Planned Parenthood locations across the country on Saturday, February 11. In most places, those supporting a funding ban on the abortion chain (organized under the hashtag #defundPP) were in the majority, but in the one-party Democratic/Planned Parenthood state of California, ban-supporters were frequently outnumbered by those supporting government funded abortions.
In San Francisco, anti-abortion protestors in front of the Valencia Street abortion business were met by a much larger group of opponents. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that about 50 pro-lifers were opposed by about 300 pro-abortionists. The Chronicle also reported that the pro-lifers outside the Redwood City branch of the abortion giant were also outnumbered, and one of the pro-lifers attending the demonstration in Napa said that there were about 50 pro-lifers opposed by 250 pro-abortionists.
Dr. Ron Konopaski, coordinator of San Francisco’s 40 Days For Life, was one of the leaders of the San Francisco demonstration. He said “We had approximately 100 people show up. The PP supporters had 300-400. We were a bit overwhelmed and the police hemmed us into a little ‘pig pen’ on the sidewalk, which was very appropriate for the Feast of our Lady of Lourdes who appeared to St. Bernadette at Lourdes in the grotto which they called the ‘pig place.’
The pro-life leaders arrived at around 11:00am to prepare for the Rally which was scheduled for noon. When they arrived, there were already 20+ pro-Planned Parenthood protestors. The #defundPP people were greatly outnumbered all day until around 2:30 PM when most of the PP supporters had dispersed.
From the pro-Planned Parenthood protestors’ side came screams and chants laced with obscenities. Most of the signs they held were supplied by the International Socialist Organization. There were also numerous homemade signs.
After approximately 2:00pm, many PP supporters had left, and their screams seemed to have worn them down. By 2:30 only the hard core remained. By 3:00, most of the counter-protesters had left, so the #defundPP protestors peacefully and quietly gathered up our stuff, thanked the remaining police for maintaining the peace, and we departed.
While the San Francisco and other California pro-life forces were outnumbered, it is significant that the battle was being waged in enemy territory. When 300-400 pro-abortionists feel the need to come out and oppose 50-100 pro-lifers in the most pro-abortion city in the country, something has changed. As Walk for Life West Coast speaker the Rev. Clenard Childress has put it, when something like that happens “that’s a new day!”
The need for the pro-life message to be shared in San Francisco was underscored by a recent article in the New York Times. Once again, San Francisco is at the bottom of the list of U.S. cities welcoming to children. A January 21 article in the Times reported that only 13% of San Franciscans are under age 18. The article quoted Norman Yee, a member of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors “Everybody talks about children being our future…If you have no children around, what’s our future?”