Tens of thousands rally at the Walk for Life West Coast in...

Tens of thousands rally at the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco

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Walk for Life West Coast participants march down Market Street in San Francisco behind a banner held by students from San Francisco area Catholic high schools and Thomas Aquinas College Jan. 23. Tens of thousands filled the street, undaunted by occasional rain showers and traffic congestion created by preparations for the Super Bowl in two weeks in the Bay Area. (CNS photo/Dennis Callahan, Catholic San Francisco)
Walk for Life West Coast participants march down Market Street in San Francisco behind a banner held by students from San Francisco area Catholic high schools and Thomas Aquinas College Jan. 23. Tens of thousands filled the street, undaunted by occasional rain showers and traffic congestion created by preparations for the Super Bowl in two weeks in the Bay Area. (CNS photo/Dennis Callahan, Catholic San Francisco)
Walk for Life West Coast participants march down Market Street in San Francisco behind a banner held by students from San Francisco area Catholic high schools and Thomas Aquinas College Jan. 23. Tens of thousands filled the street, undaunted by occasional rain showers and traffic congestion created by preparations for the Super Bowl in two weeks in the Bay Area. (CNS photo/Dennis Callahan, Catholic San Francisco)

SAN FRANCISCO (CNS) — Tens of thousands of people rallied in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza Jan. 23 and then walked down Market Street for the 12th annual Walk for Life West Coast, undaunted by intermittent rain, abortion protesters who briefly disrupted one of the speakers, or by traffic congestion related to the upcoming Super Bowl. “They tell us the lie that women — in order to have opportunities and in order for us be successful — we must have abortion rights,” said Obianuju Ekeocha, Nigerian founder and president of Culture of Life Africa, at the rally. Culture of Life Africa’s philosophy is consistent with St. John Paul II’s theology of the body. It rejects international aid tied to abortion, sterilization and other anti-life initiatives. “I stand here before you not just as a black person or an African person. I stand here before you as a woman to say we should never have to buy success with the blood of our babies,” Ekeocha said. Center for Medical Progress founder David Daleiden — whose undercover videos recorded Planned Parenthood officials discussing payments for procuring organs and other body parts from an abortion and how best to keep them intact during the procedure — was the first speaker at the one-hour rally at Civic Center Plaza. The videos led Congress to vote to defund Planned Parenthood in January; President Barack Obama vetoed the measure and the House plans a vote to attempt to override the veto. The videos also prompted Planned Parenthood to file a lawsuit charging the center, Daleiden and others with violating the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organization Act, known as RICO. Planned Parenthood claims Daleiden’s undercover investigation was a “criminal enterprise.”