Walk for Life West Coast draws more than 15,000 pro-lifers

‘The solution to building a culture of life is us living as true Christians.’

Archbishop Cordileone, homily, Walk for Life Mass, Jan. 22, 2022

San Francisco, Jan. 22, 2022 _ Focusing on the impending U.S. Supreme Court case which may finally overturn the notorious Roe v. Wade decision, an estimated 15,000-20,000 pro-lifers from as far away as Oregon, Idaho and San Diego gathered in Civic Center Plaza at the 18th annual Walk for Life West Coast.

The Mississippi legislation would outlaw abortion after 15 weeks, and many believe there is a 6-3 majority in favor of upholding the law. The hearing on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was Dec. 1 and a ruling is expected by June.

“As you know, even if this happens, our work is not done,” Eva Muntean, Walk co-chair, exhorted the crowd.

California’s pro-abortion legislative supermajority and Gov. Gavin Newsom have vowed to turn California – which already has no restrictions on abortion—into an “abortion sanctuary” for the nation.

“I believe Roe v. Wade has been outlawed, because God remembers you,” Walk speaker Rev. Clenard H. Childress, Jr. said, predicting the justices have already decided against Roe v. Wade in their private consultations. “We are the civil rights movement of this day.”

“We will prevail,” San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone told the crowd, later joining the thousands streaming down Market Street, as the college students carrying the Walk for Life “Abortion Hurts Women” banner, chanted, “We love babies, yes, we do! How about you?”

Walk co-chair Dolores Meehan urged support for women, children and families, saying, “There is no act so ordinary that it cannot have extraordinary consequences for someone in need.”

The Walk was a joyous celebration, noted Sue Connolly, Church of the Nativity parishioner in Menlo Park. “Seeing all the youthful faces of the pro-life generation gives me so much encouragement,” Connolly said.

“What an amazing day! Praise God!” added Katie Bruno, tech company executive, parishioner at St. Catherine of Siena in Burlingame, and one of the founding members of the Walk for Life.

Outreach to women, children, families key to culture of life

From its very beginning in 2005, the Walk for Life focused on outreach and support for pregnant women and compassion for those who have had an abortion. An info-faire with booths offering information and support, particularly for women in crisis pregnancies, dates to 2005. Among those at the faire, on this 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, were representatives of the San Francisco archdiocese’s Gabriel Project ministry to women in crisis pregnancy and the abortion healing ministry. The traditional Silent No More Campaign rally and testimony was held before the main rally, and women and men who had abortions shared their stories publicly with the crowd.

Walk speaker and Los Angeles Silent No More activist Irene Zamorano-Archacki, who had an abortion when she was six months pregnant, appealed directly to President Joe Biden in her speech at the rally. “I have a message for President Biden. You are a baptized Catholic. He healed me and he can heal you.”

And she stressed the importance of every day activism. “My daughter would be alive today if there was just one sidewalk counselor,” Zamorano-Archacki said, recounting her story of visiting the abortion clinic hoping someone would stop her.

St. Gianna Molla Award for Prolife Heroism

Archbishop Cordileone, who with Rev. Childress, joined the Walk last year for a much smaller walk and rally from the back of a pickup truck, was given the Walk’s St. Gianna Molla Award for Prolife Heroism. “This award is really for all of us. None us can do this alone,” the archbishop said.

Also speaking was Christie Hockel Davenport, a recently widowed woman with Down syndrome. She shared the importance of valuing every life. “What makes people happy is loving and being loved,” she said.

Scheduled speaker Lila Rose, founder of Live Action, was unable to attend because her husband had tested positive for Covid-19 and she had begun to feel ill. In her stead, EWTN’s Father Mark Mary spoke.

Earlier in the day, Archbishop Cordileone offered the Walk for Life Mass with Santa Rosa Bishop Robert F. Vasa, San Jose Bishop Oscar Cantu and Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto. In his homily Archbishop Cordileone said we will always need to live the beatitudes. “The solution to building a culture of life is us living as true Christians.”

Founded in 2005 by a group of San Francisco Bay Area residents and co-sponsored by the Archdiocese of San Francisco, the Walk for Life West Coast’s mission is to change the perceptions of a society that thinks abortion is an answer. For more details: www.walkforlifewc.com

Read the accompanying story: Prayer is essential in battle for life