SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — Thousands of abortion opponents gathered in San Francisco for an annual demonstration on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

Organizers said the crowd on Saturday looked even larger than last year, when they estimated as many as 35,000 people attended the event.

Demonstrators packed Justin Herman Plaza in downtown San Francisco before marching along the Embarcadero in a line that stretched for blocks.

A small group of pro-choice advocates held a counter-demonstration across from the plaza.

San Francisco police spokesman Albie Esparza said additional officers were on hand to monitor the march. As of mid-afternoon there were no reports of disruptions or arrests.

The department does not provide crowd estimates.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (36)
  1. LOLster says:

    Shortly thereafter all these B&T folks went home to plan their next rally demanding the government not provide safe sex education (that would prevent unwanted pregnancies) or legalize pharmaceutical pregnancy terminations (a much safer and cost effective alternative to invasive abortions) and to demand the repeal of a healthcare law that would provide health security to millions of children. They really have no constructive ideas.

    How much did we have to pay for the police overtime to keep these idiots in line?

    1. Chainlink1of4 says:

      The police were there to keep us peaceful “idiots” protected from the bigger idiots behind the inflammatory signs, obscene gestures, and hateful, spiteful speech we heard. Bottom line: we proved we can keep ourselves in line while outnumbering you counter-culturists 200 to 1.

  2. obama's mama says:

    liberal losers lack legitimate lives.

    1. Randy Fleming says:

      uhh…if you’re referencing the participants in the demonstration ; they’re NOT liberals…

  3. dexdah says:

    Thanks for leaving your money in godless San Francisco.
    See you next year for the same.

  4. right here says:

    First, I’m curious how many of these people are from the Bay Area? Second, every woman should decide for themselves.
    And finally, how many would march against all the priests who have sexually abused their children, who are still working for “god” in churches, instead of sitting in jail.

    1. Randy Fleming says:

      Many of these same protesters are from Topeka , Ks.. Reverend Phelps and Randall Terry country.

    2. Jane says:

      I helped organize the counter-rally today and we were challenging them on the pedophile priest issue, which they continue to ignore. They also ignore birth control, support of which would ultimately would decrease abortion numbers. They don’t see this issue politically but purely religiously. Very few are from SF; the Archiodiosese of SF and Oakland sponsor to bus them in. they’re from all over california.

      1. Dan says:

        I saw thousands form CA making use of their constitional rights.

        Long ago, birth control advocates promised (I have their literature): 1) the end of prostiution (wrong on that one), 2) stronger marriages (strike 2), and 3) more respect for women (hello SF sex trade and hey, abortion allows men to use and abuse women).

        Choose life

      2. Tanya says:

        You are wrong to say that support of birth control will decrease abortion numbers. As birth control use rose in the past century, abortion rose right along with it. Think about it… human use of birth control will never be perfect. Even if it were medically perfect, one will still forget to put it in one’s purse, etc, occasionally. Universally available birth control has become a reality alongside the idea that sex is perfectly ok between 2 people who are not prepared to become parents. There’s just a whole lot more sex between people who are not prepared to become parents than there was before the pill. We are such a sex-oriented and saturated culture. More birth control = more sex between people who are not ready to be parents = more abortions. I mean, really, birth control IS pretty much universally available, no? How much more available can it get? And we’re pretty much close to or at the peak of # of abortions that happen every year, right?

      3. Vanissa says:

        Go Jane!

        Regarding the sex industry, no demand – no supply. What makes you think all people are unwilling to be prostitutes? Some choose it!

        Dan, men need to take responsibility for themselves. Birth control doesn’t take the place of personal responsibility.

        As evidenced by the Catholic priests’ institutionalized child abuse, God is not synonymous with the Catholic Church. Where is your outrage for the children who are taken advantage of by Catholic priests? INSTITUTIONAL CHILD ABUSE. Where is the respect for life there?

        Birth Control is an amazing innovation. You will never have the power to decide if and when another person will have an abortion. Stop trying to control women. You can not.

      4. Travis says:

        The line has been drawn…you are either with God or against Him. The “Hate Speech” that was demonstrated by the Pro-Abortion supporters today was absolutely appalling. These signs, such as “If Mary had had an abortion we wouldn’t be in this mess”, “God must be Gay, cause he watches me ******bate”, or John Paul is the patron saint for pedophiles”. But from the Pro-Life supporters, you saw signs that said, “Defend Life”, “Choose Life” or “Women deserve better than abortion”. Where’s the “hate speech” there, I will always stand for LIFE in a peaceful way and pray that the opposition do the same. GOD BLESS the PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT!!

      5. TJ Lambert says:

        Dan’s response to Jane enumerates rationales for contraception that he claims turned out not to be true. He concludes, “Choose life.”

        That’s the point, Dan. You and your co-protestors want to deny women the right to choose. Or were you being droll?

  5. Heather says:


    No Kansas folk. Phelps or Terry, either. California people. I am a 35 year old woman from Santa Cruz who attended. It’s a great encouragement for me to see how each year the group diversifies more and more. Rather than the stereotype of the ‘white, religious male’ there was a majority of women there. While catholic people certainly comprise a demographic, they by no means define the group. There are Democrats for Life, Atheists for Life, Christians for Life, College Students for Life……the list goes on. Peaceful expression of the hope that the subject of abortion will rise above politics and rhetoric and be addressed as the human rights issue that it is.

    1. Linda says:


      I was there yesterday, walking for choice. While I appreciate your personal, emotional attempts to reduce or end abortion, I do not understand the political motivations.

      In 2007, a WHO study was released proving women obtain abortion at the same rate world-wide, regardless of the legality of the procedure. Where it is illegal, the survival rate of women having abortions plummeted. In some places, there is a 54% survival rate. Obscene.Before Roe, surviving an abortion was a challenge.

      In countries where abortion is legal and accessible the survival rate for women who have abortion is 99%.

      The fact is: women have always and will always have abortions. If you’d like to be part of the community to practically reduce abortion:

      The study proved the single most effective method to PRACTICALLY reducing abortions is free, accessible contraceptives and sex ed.

      On a spiritual level, all religions need to see women as people who make informed, spiritual and loving decisions – even when those decisions don’t align with someone else’s spiritual beliefs.

      Most churches are quite sexist – no women hold power over men.


  6. MaryKimball says:

    Abortion is not an issue to be debated and discussed. It is a hideous injustice to women and children that needs to be abolished! As the signs read: “Women deserve better than Abortion!”

    1. Jane says:

      Abortion needs to be safe, legal and respectful because women only deserve this kind of treatment from the medical community – it’s a procedure that has been requested by women for thousands of years and midwives have performed it; we must continue to keep abortion medically and legal viable so that we don’t have a repeat of the horrendous story coming out of Philly regarding “Dr.” Kermit Gosnell. Keep abortion safe and legal so women do not die.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Women are dying, Jane. They are dying before they can become the woman they were created to be.

  8. joe t says:

    most of the pro-abortion protesters were older and white and not many grew up in sf.

    we are from all over the state and mutlicultural and multigenerational

    1. joe t says:

      by the way…what went unreported is the leftists are a coomie front group

      1. Lew says:

        Yes, the coomies are quite rampant in these here parts.

    2. Emily says:

      The Pro-Choice community presence out there was supported by the Board of Supervisors’ David Chui. Politically, San Francisco has and will always protect a woman’s right to choose.

      The anti-choice groups marched in solidarity with Catholic priests, soldiers & military families. They did not organize to end child abuse with in the church nor the killing of innocent children by U.S. wars.

      Abortion is legal. Women will always get abortions. Access to safe, legal abortion ensures all women survive the procedure. Pro-Choice demonstrators & advocates literally hand out sex ed material, condoms, birth control & ways to prevent pregnancy to at-risk populations. Members in the pro-choice demonstrators may never have an abortion – every single person understands that if women do choose abortion they have a right to a safe, accessible one.

      The United States is pro-choice. Want to reduce the number? Volunteer with Planned Parenthood to hand out condoms, birth control and factual sex ed.

  9. Peter B. Towle says:

    Thanks be to God for all you who were there to stand up for the sanctity of God given life from conception to natural death. Many thanks to the SFPD for their professional and courteous care extended to us as we walked. today for the “Walk for Life” West Coast.
    Dn. Pete Towle

  10. jose says:

    my 12 year old daughter and 13 year old niece attend with the church wearing shirts I printed with my daughters baby footprints in the design. Later that evening my son visited who I would have tried to convince his mom to abort if abortion was an option for her. thank God she didn’t consider it an option.

  11. Travis says:

    The line has been drawn…you are either with God or against Him. The “Hate Speech” that was demonstrated by the Pro-Abortion supporters today was absolutely appalling. These signs, such as “If Mary had had an abortion we wouldn’t be in this mess”, “God must be Gay, cause he watches me ******bate”, or John Paul is the patron saint for pedophiles”. But from the Pro-Life supporters, you saw signs that said, “Defend Life”, “Choose Life” or “Women deserve better than abortion”. Where’s the “hate speech” there, I will always stand for LIFE in a peaceful way and pray that the opposition do the same. GOD BLESS the PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT!!

  12. Raul says:

    Respect Life. Always!! Life matters.

  13. summer says:

    awesome rally for life! wish I was there!

  14. BJ says:

    The counter demonstrators always leave out the phrase ‘to Kill’ from
    their placards: ‘A Woman’s Right to Choose …….’.

    1. Serine says:

      You cannot kill what is not yet alive.

      1. Rose says:


        I just want to give you some facts. Your heart started beating at about 18 days in your mother’s womb. A heart with different DNA than your mother’s or father’s. No one else has your DNA. You are totally unique.

        Twins wrestle in the womb. Babies suck their thumbs, and recently with the newest technology, we have seen them laughing.

        No, they are definately not alive….

      2. Vinessa says:

        If you are going to save a child, save them from a molesting Catholic priest, or a foster home or gang violence. Save kids that currently exist.

      3. C says:

        Rose, if you are against abortion, hand out condoms. Women will ALWAYS have abortions. That’s a tough fact if you are against abortion, but you’ve got to be practical in your approach if your desire is reduction. Contraceptives reduce abortion rates. Planned Parenthood and community clinics focus 75% of efforts on making contraceptive available. Making abortions illegal or difficult to access only makes women who have abortion, have illegal and unsafe abortions. Unsafe abortion literally means women will not survive the procedure. Legal, safe access means women will survive. Unless you think abortion is punishable by death, do your best to reduce without politicizing abortion by trying to make it illegal.

  15. David Zarri says:

    We honor God by honoring His gifts. We dishonor Him by dishonoring His gifts. Life is His first gift !

    Human life is sacred because we are made in “God’s image and likeness”! God became man!

    The Truth will make us truly free, and enable us to live life to the full ! God gave us a way to know the Truth – His Word, His Sacred Tradition and His Church. To all of good will, I urge you to read The Catechism of the Catholic Church and pray about it. You will be amazed !

    Sincerely In Christ,
    David Zarri

  16. Rose says:


    Too late they already exist.

  17. Celine says:

    Getting pregnant merely means your physiology is working. If you don’t want a baby, don’t make one! That’s just common sense, not religion.
    unPlanned Parenthood promised that with the acceptance of abortion, there would be NO MORE UNWANTED BABIES, & NO MORE ABUSED CHILDREN. Seems like it backfired; people became more sexually active because they could always get an abortion, as if it could be “backstop” contraception. Too bad for the babies that their parents were into instant gratification instead of using their brains to think thru the consequences.
    Don’t you pro-aborts feel used?
    If babies came with fur, would they be protected?