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Tiny Heartbeats Thunder at January 26 Walk for Life West Coast!
In what will surely go down as the most memorable moment in the 15 year history of the Walk for Life West Coast, seven pregnant women and their unborn children ascended the stage, put microphones to their bellies, and filled San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza with the sounds of tiny heartbeats.
The heartbeats, tiny though they were, were a thundering repudiation of the Culture of Death, so recently and tragically exemplified by the state of New York’s legalization of the murder of such children right up to the moment of birth.
The heartbeats brought an unprecedented response from the tens of thousands of pro-lifers who overflowed the plaza, and even shook the organizers. “I had tears in my eyes,” said Walk for Life co-chair Eva Muntean “and it literally sent a shiver down my spine. So beautiful, so fragile, so vulnerable.” Attendees were equally moved, with photographs showing some women wiping their eyes, while others were moved to elation. The online comments about the experience included “amazing”…”awesome”… “beautiful”…”fantastic,” and “Fue el sonido más hermoso que escuche” (“The most beautiful sound I ever heard”).
Two of the pregnant mothers were also speakers at the rally: former Planned Parenthood employees Abby Johnson and Patricia Sandoval. Both women walked away from their jobs at Planned Parentood in disgust, both are now among the most effective and articulate pro-life advocates in the country, both are now published authors, and Mrs. Johnson’s first book Unplanned has been made into a motion picture, which will be released this March.
Walk co-chair Dolores Meehan presented the St. Gianna Molla award to pro-life heroism to Mrs. Chastidy Ronan, the beloved former Executive Director of San Francisco’s Alpha Pregnancy Center. She recalled how she had first met Chastidy at a little fundraiser years ago in a Church basement and how she was immediately won over by her genuine warmth, humor, and commitment. Currently suffering from cancer, Chastidy told the story of how she came to Alpha as a young mother and went on to volunteer and eventually became the Center’s Executive Director. The ‘little fundaisers’ that Ms. Meehan recalled are now held in the event center of San Francisco’s St. Mary’s Cathedral.
Other speakers included Fr. Shenan Bouqet of Human Life International, who gave an overview of the present state of the pro-life movement, the challenges faced, and urged the Walk for Life West Coast to try and grow at least as large as its big sister, the March for Life in Washington DC.
The final speaker was the Reverend Walter Hoye of Oakland who gave the Rally a powerful sendoff, recounting the words that earned him a 30-day sentence in Santa Rita jail, later overturned as a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution: “God loves you and your baby. Let us help you.” He asked the crowd to respond to his questions: “Does God love you?” YES! “Does God Love Your baby?” YES! “Will we help you?” YES!
At 1:30 Walkers left the Civic Center Plaza to head down Market Street to the Ferry Building. CBS Local affiliate KPIX estimated the crowd at 50,000. As always, there were a small group of anti-life protesters—this year the smallest ever, numbering between 25-30 people. Walkers came from all over the western United States and as far away as Wyoming, Nebraska, and even the island of Fiji. Colleges were well represented, with Students For Life groups from UC Berkeley, UC Davis, San Jose State, and Stanford (among others) in attendance. Catholic Colleges were well represented, including Wyoming Catholic College and Thomas Aquinas College, who sent over 200 students. Catholic High School representation was the highest yet, and the enormous number of young people lent the day its characteristic joy-filled and hopeful tone.
But great though the speakers and Walkers were, the 15th Annual Walk for Life West Coast will always be remembered for the tiny heartbeats of the babies.
We are pleased to announce the date for next year’s event – January 25, 2020.
To change the perceptions of a society that thinks abortion is an answer. Abortion does violence to women and to their children, both physically and emotionally. We deserve better than abortion.
To be a vocal and visual message that people of the West Coast stand for life. To reach out to women harmed by abortion. To inform society of the damage done to women by abortion.
What We Do
Peaceably protest abortion, walking through San Francisco every year on or near January 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.
The time is always right to do what is right.