Thousands attend abortion rallies in San Francisco


The procession from Civic Center to Justin Herman Plaza tied up traffic along Market and adjoining streets for about two and a half hours. The marchers' message was very simple -- overturn Roe vs. Wade

Civic Center Plaza was filled with more than 40,000 people who came to San Francisco for the annual rally. Pro-life supporters listened to various speakers on this, the 40th anniversary of the passage of Roe vs. Wade, which legalized abortion.

Actress and model Jennifer O'Neill spoke to the crowd about her regrets at having an abortion, "Abortion hurts women and families and society and it need to become unthinkable," O'Neill said. A member of Silent No More, O'Neill was impressed by the turnout.

Pope Benedict sent his ambassador to the event to personally deliver his message regarding Roe vs. Wade.

"To support those who want to reverse the decision and the law that has been established in this country and many parts of the world," Carlo Vigaro said.

At 1:30 p.m. the group marched from Civic Center down Market Street. The crowd was so large that it took the better part of an hour for it to clear the plaza.

Earlier in the day a pro-choice celebration commemorating Roe vs. Wade was held in Justin Herman Plaza.

"We must stand against the people who want to eliminate reproductive education in our schools," said Julie Soo with the SF Commission on the Status of Women.

More than 300 people listened to speakers and music. Sandra Fluke, the woman who was called a slut by Rush Limbaugh when she spoke addressed Congress about insurance coverage for contraception, came from Los Angeles to address the crowd.

"We have to keep defending Roe and defending the right of women to make their own decisions about their bodies legally," Fluke said.

Pro-choice supporters were all gone by the time thousands of pro-life marchers reached their final stop at Justin Herman Plaza.

Police say there were only two arrests in Saturday's march.

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