Walk For Life along San Francisco's beautiful waterfront on January 22, 2005.
A Walk for Life is scheduled for January 22nd in an unlikely place--San Francisco, where until recently there were more abortions than live births. But that is precisely why the Walk is taking place there--a group of San Franciscans decided it was time to make a statement about life and reach out to the many women who have had abortions, and all those touched by abortion, including siblings, fathers, grandparents.
In keeping with the theme, all three speakers will be people with organizations that are speaking out for, with and to women: Feminists for Life of America, Silent No More Awareness Campaign, and L.E.A.R.N., a black evangelical outreach ministry. The Walk organizers hope to attract thousands from the Western states particularly, but all are welcome.
IgnatiusInsight.com spoke with Eva Muntean, co-chair of Walk for Life West Coast, (www.walkforlifewc.com).
What was the genesis of the Walk for Life West Coast?
The idea came from some of the Walk organizers who attended the pro-life rally in Sacramento last year on January 22nd and felt that a larger event in San Francisco, the iconic symbol of the West, was needed. They asked me what I thought of the idea and then asked me to help organize a Walk for Life West Coast. I thought it was a great idea and joined the effort. We are fortunate to have a great group of volunteers who helped organize a Marriage Prayer Rally earlier in the year. [Editor: That April 2004 rally in S.F. drew thousands in support of marriage and was in response to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's issuing of licenses to same sex couples in early 2004.]
What is the theme of the Walk for Life West Coast?
We are focusing on the damage that abortion causes women, men and families. We are trying to reach out to those hurt by abortion and show them that there is support and healing available to them. To fill this need we have organized an Information Faire at the end of the Walk where pro-life organizations can hand out their literature. Our basic message is that life is the best and only choice. We have adopted the Feminists for Life slogan "Women Deserve Better than Abortion®." [© 2004 Feminists for Life of America, All Rights Reserved. Women Deserve Better is a registered trademark of Feminists for Life of America.]
Is it different from the March for Life in Washington, D.C.?
The March for Life is more political. If January 22nd does not fall on a weekday the March organizers change the date to the nearest weekday so they can march on Capitol Hill. Walk for Life West Coast is not so much political, but supportive and informational. The Walk for Life will always be held on the Saturday closest to January 22nd to give everyone the opportunity to join us. The events complement each other very well.
Who are your speakers?
Event speakers will include Sally Winn, vice president of Feminists for Life of America, Life Education and Resource Network North East Director Clenard H. Childress, a Baptist minister, and Georgette Forney, chair of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and president of NOEL, an Episcopalian prolife group. San Francisco Catholic Archbishop William Levada will also attend the January 22nd Walk.
Who is supporting Walk for Life West Coast?
Some of our sponsors include Feminists for Life, Catholics for the Common Good, Ignatius Press, LEARN, Presbyterians for Life, Democrats for Life, Pro-Life Action League, and three Catholic dioceses : San Francisco, Santa Rosa, and Oakland. For more details on our sponsors, you can visit our website and click on "sponsors".
What do you hope to accomplish?
We would like to show people that there are far better choices available than abortion. We would like to show women and men that there is help and healing after an abortion. We are saying: "Life is the best and only choice".
On a personal level, I would like to show the country that the city of San Francisco and the Bay Area have many solidly pro-life people. I travel a lot and everywhere I go people ask me the same question when I tell them I live in San Francisco "How can you live there?". I want everyone to know that San Francisco is not a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah. I want them to get to know San Francisco all over again as a place that "walks for life".
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