After hearing two speeches from the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr., and a woman who survived an abortion, an estimated 25,000 marchers on Saturday walked 2.5 miles along the San Francisco waterfront to support pregnant women and to protest legalized abortion.
The marchers carried signs and banners reading “Abortion Hurts Women” and “Women Deserve Better.”
About 250 pro-abortion protestors chanted and jeered alongside the marchers’ route.
At the Walk for Life rally before the march, the audience was addressed by Gianna Jessen, who developed cerebral palsy as an infant after an attempted saline abortion in Los Angeles.
"I was aborted and did not die," Gianna Jessen told the cheering crowd, but referred to her injuries adding, "I will limp my way into heaven."
"The abortionist signed my birth certificate," Jessen said, though she continued, "My life is not defined by abortion. I am not a victim, I am a victor."
Alveda King, the niece of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke to the marchers, comparing the pro-life movement to her uncle’s efforts to secure civil rights.
"We care about life from the womb to the tomb," Alveda King said. "My uncle said injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. Dr. King said that the Negro cannot win if he is willing to sacrifice the future of his children for personal comfort and safety. So here we are on behalf of the children, the future generation."
King led the crowd in singing the civil rights song “This Little Light of Mine.”
Rev. Clenard Childress and the radio host Jesse Romero also addressed the crowd. Eight Catholic bishops from various regions of California were present to show support for the event and the marchers’ cause.
Walk for Life co-chair Dolores Meehan said her organization was pleased by the growing numbers of participants, noting the first event in 2005 drew about 5,000 people while the 2007 event attracted about 20,000.