.- Pro-life advocates in San Francisco, citing signs of greater participation, expect a large turnout in the Walk for Life West Coast to be held on January 24.
A record number of buses reportedly have already been registered, with more registrants expected.
"We always have a flood of last-minute sign-ups," Walk for Life West Coast co-chair Dolores Muntean said, according to a press release. "I never want to predict turnout, but it is looking big this year."
"This is the 5th year and it has become part of the fabric of the city and the state," she continued. "People just plan to come as part of their January."
The event takes place two days after the 36th anniversary of the Supreme Court pro-abortion rights decision Roe v. Wade.
Last year an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 people attended the event, which includes a rally and walk along San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf and the Embarcadero.
The pro-life cause faces an entrenched culture of legalized abortion advocates in the Bay area. For years in San Francisco, no public official has been elected without endorsing abortion rights. In 2005, the first year of Walk for Life West Coast, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom spoke at a rally near the walk, condemning the event. The same year, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors declared January 22 “Stand up for Choice Day.”
This year’s Walk comes days after President-elect Obama takes office.
Muntean tried to connect the two events, saying:
"Americans voted for our new president because they do care about justice - they wanted to shut the door permanently on the prejudice and injustice that is a blemish on our history. We hope President-elect Obama will bring the concern for Americans' well-being that he is showing in tackling the economy to bring justice to women in crisis pregnancies and to the unborn - the most vulnerable of all.”