Pro-lifers Storm Market Street

Emmy Hicks-Jablons, Staff Writer


Over the past weekend, San Francisco was not itself. Children perched on the shoulders of their parents, soaking up a sea of abortion symbolism as tens of thousands of pro-life protestors flooded Market Street. On Friday and Saturday January 22nd and 23rd, the 12th annual Walk for Life West Coast took place in downtown San Francisco. The date of Friday in particular conjures significance as January 22nd 1973 marks the landmark Supreme Court decision of Roe v Wade, in which abortion was established as a woman’s right under the Constitution, and therefore legalized. The Walk for Life West Coast is an organization dedicated to advocating against abortion. Their mission statement asserts that, “abortion harms women and men; it divides families and society. Women—and all people—deserve better than abortion.”

As San Francisco is a notoriously liberal city, the sight of thousands of predominantly conservative, christian pro-life protesters is extremely unfamiliar to most San Francisco residents, not to mention among Urban students where the liberal bubble of San Francisco tends to be further magnified.

Madeleine Matz (‘17) who attended the protest on Saturday, said that she felt “confused to see such an outpouring of ideals that I don’t believe in, in a city where I usually feel like my values are reflected.” Evie Hidysmith (‘17) who also attended the protest, similarly voiced that, “It was infuriating and hard to face the fact that this is the world we live in. That not everyone is part of the Urban bubble.” 94610029

The counter rally to the Walk for Life West Coast protest was led by a movement known as Stop Patriarchy. Stop Patriarchy fights for women’s reproductive rights through using an aggressive form of protest, as they believe that a woman’s right to an abortion and birth control is an urgent issue, and change will not occur through passive, polite demonstration.

One of Stop Patriarchy’s leading mantras is; “Forced motherhood is female enslavement.” In fact, many comparisons between abortion rights and slavery can be found in their website bio, and embedded in their protest chants. Hidysmith recalls a particular chant along the lines of ‘break the chains…’ and other things related to slavery, and while she was on the side of Stop Patriarchy, she found this to be an “invalid comparison between gender and race, and really wrong.”  Hidysmith also described a woman who was dressed up in a pink, flamboyant costume depicting a vagina holding a sign that read Abortion is Awesome. Hidysmith explained why she found this to be problematic; “Abortion isn’t awesome, it’s not something happy or exciting. It’s not wanted. But it is a necessity. Having the choice is a necessity.”