‘We should never have to buy success with the blood of our babies’

Sunshine, powerful speakers, giant crowd at 12th annual Walk for Life West Coast
Eva Muntean, organizer of the Walk for Life, and Father Joseph Fessio, the Walk's chaplain, lead the Walk for Life.

Eva Muntean, co-chair of the Walk for Life, and Father Joseph Fessio, the Walk’s chaplain, lead the crowds. (photo: Dennis Callahan, Catholic San Francisco)

On Saturday, January 23, tens of thousands of San Franciscans, joined by young pro-lifers from as far away as Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma and Alaska filled the city’s Civic Center Plaza and Market Street at the 12th Annual Walk for Life West Coast. Organizers would not give a firm number of attendees, saying only “tens of thousands” but crowd size was consistent with recent years, where local mainstream media estimated 50-55,000 people. Attendance was especially impressive given travel difficulties caused by the intense weather of recent weeks’ El Nino weather system—a system that broke the day of the Walk, with only an occasional drizzle interrupting the sunshine.

Walk co-chair Eva Muntean introduced the rally by urging attendees to greater pro-life activism, giving a shout-out to 40 Days for Life who were at the Walk’s Info Faire, and to California’s Parental Notification Initiative, whose representatives manned two signature-gathering tables.

Obianuju Ekeocha, a biomedical scientist who is part of Culture of Life Africa. She has written In defense of Dignity and An Open Letter to Melinda Gates (Culture de Vie Afrique)

Obianuju Ekeocha, a biomedical scientist who is part of Culture of Life Africa. (Culture de Vie Afrique)

This year’s speakers included two international stars of the pro-life movement: Obianuju Ekeocha of Culture of Life Africa, and Mexican musical superstar and pro-life activist Emmanuel, as well as the influential young American pro-life activist, David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress.

Both Ekeocha and Daleiden challenged the mind-set of Planned Parenthood and the anti-family NGO’s of the world who see human beings as commodities. Ms. Ekeocha attacked the cultural imperialism western NGO’s are attempting to impose on Africa: “They tell us the lie that women– in order to have opportunities and in order for us be successful– we must have abortion rights. I stand here before you not just as a black person or an African person. I stand here before you as a woman to say we should never have to buy success with the blood of our babies.”

David Daleiden at the rally

David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress at the rally. (photo: Darwin Sayo, Walk for Life West Coast)

David Daleiden echoed Ms. Ekeocha’s observations that abortion has turned our own children into commodities; he noted that what his videos prove is that while pro-abortionists deny the humanity of the fetus at the time of abortion, they immediately turn around and assert the humanity of the fetus when it is time to sell their body parts: “The videos raise the biggest question that Planned Parenthood and their allies cannot answer. That is how on the one hand in our country the humanity of the baby fetus is not considered to be equal enough to our own in order to be totally protected by law, but at the same time it is precisely their equal and identical humanity to our own that makes them so valuable for sale.”

In his homily at the Walk for Life Mass, celebrated at 9:30 AM at St. Mary’s Cathedral, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone also addressed Daleiden’s videos, which document Planned Parenthood’s callous attitude towards selling the body ports of aborted children. He noted the bizarre contortions required by the organization’s defenders: “…there are those who would defend the practice by deflecting the argument to questions of legal technicalities regarding what is and is not against the law, thus side-stepping the real question, the much bigger question. But the big question cannot be ignored, it has to be answered, there is no getting around it: what does this say about us as a society?”

The final two speakers were fiery Walk stalwart the Reverend Clenard Childress, Director of BlackGenocide.org and Latino music sensation Emmanuel.

Singer Emmanuel speaking at the rally

Singer Emmanuel speaking at the rally. (photo: Darwin Sayo, Walk for Life West Coast)

Emmanuel began by saying, in English “We are here in defense of life. We have to do it. We all have to do it,” and then spoke in Spanish to the Walk’s large and ever-growing Hispanic contingent. Emmanuel’s fame in the Spanish-speaking world can scarcely be overstated. The cheers accompanying his appearance were thunderous. Ed Hopfner, of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, said that following the rally the crowd swarmed Emmanuel, and that he and other security had difficulty in getting him back to his car.

As the Walk headed down Market Street, the lead was taken by youth. The front ranks were filled with members of Catholic High Schools from San Francisco and surrounding dioceses. College students were numerous as well: Thomas Aquinas College sent their largest-ever contingent: 220 students. They were joined by Arizona State Students for Life, students from Denver’s Jesuit Regis University, students from the Newman Center of Oregon, and others.

As always, protesters tried to disrupt the Walk. Three young women managed to sneak around to the northern side of the speaker’s area and throw literature onto the stage while Daleiden was speaking. They then remove their tops and shouted obscenities. Although almost no one at the rally was aware of the attempted disruption, it did lead to one of the day’s most memorable and charming moments: the Sisters of Life giving their cloaks to the half-naked girls so they would not catch cold. The girls were arrested.

There were also between 100-150 protestors from Stop Patriarchy, a group affiliated with the Revolutionary Communist Party, waiting for the Walk at the corner of Powell and Market Street. But they were outnumbered by about 400 to one.

Comments

  1. Important to remember that acceptance of abortion begins with acceptance of contraception. Being truly pro-life must also include the total acceptance of The Church’s teachings on sexual morality.

    Many of the young marchers have not heard these beautiful teachings. We must do our part to educate them by word and example because they are entitled to the truth.

    • Linda Maria says:

      In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God!” In our own daily lives, a follower of Christ must try to always see Christ in others! Nothing else! A good, practicing Catholic, must set self aside, and let Christ fill him or her, completely! “The Christ in me, sees the Christ in you!” With pure eyes, and a pure heart and mind! That is how to practice purity of heart!

    • Linda Maria says:

      When we say we love someone, we must always desire their highest good! Not our own self-interest! If a man looks at a woman, he should first set himself aside, see Christ in her, and desire her highest good!

      • Linda Maria says:

        There is a mistake, here! My above two posts, were not written at all, as replies to the excellent post of Kristin! I agree with her, that all of these young, pro-life Catholics, should be fully educated, in sexual morality, and fully accept all of our Church’s teachings! Excellent post!

  2. Linda Maria says:

    Actually, all Catholics need to again be given a comprehensive “Baltimore Catechism”– type of training, from childhood, by good nuns and priests! From birth until death, all Catholics need on-going training, encouragement, and support, in being a good, practicing Catholic! And all Catholic homes, must be “domestic churches,” where the Catholic Faith is daily practiced! Chastity is a MUST, for ALL!! Even married spouses need to practice chastity–with pure hearts, true to their lifelong marriage vows! And they must remain faithful to God, UNSELFISH, and OPEN TO LIFE, in every conjugal act!

  3. Linda Maria says:

    Our Blessed Mother was chaste and pure, lifelong! She was, and is, also very BEAUTIFUL!! True beauty comes from a PURE HEART, lovingly united with Christ, lifelong obedient to Him, remaining in Him always, in pure Faith! Christ is our TRUE SPOUSE!! He, too, is BEAUTIFUL, BEYOND ALL THINGS IN THIS WORLD!! God is exquisite LOVE, GOODNESS, BEAUTY, and PURITY!

  4. John♥Julie Malaspina says:

    My wife and I joined with a large group of brothers and sisters from our parish to Walk for Life. What an absolute joy to see thousands walking ,singing, and praying together. Evil take note; We are united under the banner of Jesus Christ to show the world the saving power of God Almighty….Praise the Lord !

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