by Steven Ertelt
January 22, 2006
San Francisco, CA (LifeNews.com) — With pro-life rallies and events across the country on Sunday, pro-life advocates mourned the 33rd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion throughout pregnancy for virtually any reason. Proving the pro-life movement is alive and well, hundreds of thousands of people attended events nationwide.
Fifteen thousand pro-life supporters filled the streets along San Francisco’s waterfront for more than a mile, walking behind a banner that proclaimed “Abortion Hurts Women.”
The turnout for the second annual Walk for Life West Coast was double last year’s, despite a day that dawned rainy and cloudy and threats from abortion advocates to shut it down.
"We need to address the causes that drive women to abortion," said Serrin Foster, president of Feminists for Life. "We have to reach out to the women who think, ‘Without housing, day care and maternity coverage, it doesn’t feel like I have much of a choice.’"
“We’re obviously building momentum,” said organizer Dolores Meehan, in reference to the police crowd count. “It’s not just an event, it’s a movement.”
Just a few hundred pro-abortion activists turned out to counterprotest in what is considered one of the most pro-abortion cities in the nation.
Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell spokes to a crowd of 400 people in Cincinnati. He said the drive to keep abortion legal is backed by the same people who don’t want pro-life Christians involved in public debate.
"There are forces, cultural, social and political, that are trying to run faith and religion out of the public square," Blackwell, a Republican candidate for governor, said.
Some 300 people attended a rally at the state capitol in Providence sponsored by Rhode Island Right to Life and the Diocese of Providence.
Carrying signs stating "Stop Abortion Now," "Vote Pro-Life," those who participated listened to speakers and called on lawmakers to pass a measure informing women of abortion’s risks and alternatives.
About 150 people attended a rally in Louisville outside Metro Hall as part of the annual "Rally for Life," sponsored by Right to Life of Louisville.
Ron Shields spoke publicly for the first time about a decision he and his girlfriend made to have an abortion.
"For many of us, abortion creates a lifetime of regrets," he said.
Missy Reigel, Mendy Mason and Brooke Hoagland held signs saying they regretted their abortions.
Reigel said she had an abortion in 1996 after friends convinced her the baby would be unhealthy because of her drinking. "Since then the Lord has forgiven me and healed me," she said.
Cardinal Roger Mahony was set to preside at an annual "Respect Life" Mass in Los Angeles. In Jackson, Michigan, 40 vehicles led a procession of people protesting abortion there.
In Yakima, Washington, about 300 people prayed and sang and released balloons honoring those who have died from abortions.