Protests mark anniversary of Roe v. Wade in SF

The "Walk For Life" march in San Francisco. Submitted anonymously via uReport.

January 21, 2012 7:18:35 PM PST
Thousands of protesters took to the streets Saturday, just one day before the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

One demonstrator said it was the recent shift in the political landscape that motivated thousands of anti-abortion activists to take to the streets of San Francisco Saturday morning.

There were two groups with two very different views on life in the womb. The "West Coast Rally for Reproductive Justice" said they would march rain or shine, marking the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose. Just up the street was the annual "Walk For Life," an anti-abortion group calling for a repeal of that Supreme Court decision.

The Walk For Life drew demonstrators from across the country, young and old. "It's important to show the family that they're a part of something a little larger," Rick Cartier said. He and his family represent three generations of those who believe that every life has value. "We've done it three years in a row now, again, just to show the kids that we're a pro-life family and to participate with other pro-life people."

The group that started at Civic Center marched peacefully down Market St. holding signs while flanked by the San Francisco Police Department. "The pro-life movement is the civil rights movement of our generation," John Johnson told ABC7, a youth minister who escorted 10 busloads of young people to San Francisco for Saturday's rally.

There were only a handful of pro-choice demonstrators and that may be because they have the court on their side. The groups did find one more opportunity to clash. At a Starbucks off of Justin Herman Plaza, there was both coffee and spirited debate.

Abortion rights demonstrators were frustrated by their small showing. Both sides, even though they vehemently disagree, were peaceful. Police say there were no arrests and no displays of violence.