On Saturday, about 5,000 people attended the sixth annual March for Life at Balboa Park in San Diego.
“Our message is that to be pro-life is to be pro-woman,” said Evangely Aliangan-Ward of Pacific Beach, in her second year as Walk for Life coordinator. “We’re defending women.”
The Most Rev. John Dolan, auxiliary bishop of the San Diego Roman Catholic diocese, spoke to a crowd full of families and ethnicities.
Later, he weighed a question: What did he think about a conflicted America on the first anniversary of a “tough” talking president seen as no friend to immigrants?
“In many ways, that’s why I’m here,” Dolan told Times of San Diego. “This whole March for Life encompasses everything, not just … the unborn, but also DACA.”
He said everyone has value or purpose — “whether they’re walking or in the womb, whether they are immigrants or migrants or deported.”
Amid a Washington budget stalemate over “Dreamers” that led early Saturday to a partial government shutdown, Dolan said people shouldn’t “live in this exclusive false reality that somehow only those who are privileged, only those who can live in first-world countries … can belong on this planet.”
But Dolan won’t criticize specific people, saying it leads to ad hominem arguments.
A contrasting view came from Victor Resendez of Chula Vista, taking part in his fifth San Diego Walk for Life (missing only last year’s event, when it poured).
“Pro-life is a totally different issue than DACA,” said Resendez, 79, calling the effort to stave off deportation for 800,000 young people “a political situation that was put through by the Democrats. The purpose of it is votes.”
Resendez is open to immigration, though.
“Everybody has a right to come to this country as an immigrant,” said the St. Joseph Cathedral attender downtown, but “there’s a legal way, and there’s an illegal way.”
He said that if he had come the legal route, he’d be “miffed if these guys got in front of me. It’s not the child’s fault.”
He asked: “Who’s at fault? The parents, right? Send them back. If the kids want to follow the parents, fine. If they want to stay here, fine.”
Resendez said he and his wife couldn’t have children — they adopted three instead.
“So when they say: Who’s going to take care of these children if they’re not aborted? There will be people like me,” he said. “We don’t talk about that, because that’s not what they want to hear. What they want to hear is how do we afford children?”
Bishop Dolan — who ended his stage appearance with his typical humor: “Go in pieces” — didn’t see the annual event’s goal as merely reversing Roe at the Supreme Court.
“Our perspective is that life begins from the moment of conception,” Dolan said. “It goes beyond flipping Roe v. Wade because even should that be flipped, there are a whole host of questions that come after that.”
Among them: What happens to a woman who has an abortion illegally, or the doctor who performs it, “and what’s the penalty phase?”
With or without legal abortion, Dolan said, “I think there will still be that tension. The tension is really because, I believe, people are not educated to know the … purpose of human beings.”
Full story at The Times of San Diego.