(Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
More than 3,000 pro-life supporters marched through the streets of San Diego on Saturday to mark the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
Daniel Andrus, who brought a group of young people from St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Fallbrook to San Diego, carried a sign depicting a skeletal baby cradled by the words "1⁄3 of our generation has been killed by abortion."
"We have to stand up for the gift of life," U-T San Diego quoted Andrus as saying. "There are other options than terminating a pregnancy because life begins at conception."
As 16-year-old Kaelyn Church, who participated in the San Diego event with his other school friends, said, "God gave us a purpose in life, and He has a plan for all of us. It's not right to kill little human beings."
"History will be hard on pro-abortionists, just as it is hard on those who were pro-slavery. Why? Because they were morally wrong," said Dr. Jim Garlow, senior pastor of Skyline Church in La Mesa, Calif., told the crowd. "There are tours in Germany of the concentration camps, of the killing centers. Someday there will be tours of the abortuaries in America, the present day killing centers. And tourists will ask, 'where was the church? Why were people silent?' I do not want them to be referring to me. I will not be silent."
The Roe V. Wade decision has resulted in over 55 million lives lost to abortion in the country, organizers say, and Saturday's event was to remember the lives "lost and wounded by legalized abortion." In 1973, the court ruled that a right to privacy under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman's decision to have an abortion, but added that that right must be balanced against the state's two legitimate interests in regulating abortions – protecting prenatal life and protecting women's health.
On the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision, some people are celebrating the ruling. "On the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood recognizes the need for continued access to safe and legal abortion for women if and when they need to consider it," Jennifer Coburn, director of communications for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, was quoted as saying. "Many remember a time before abortion was legal, and countless women were injured or killed in unsafe, illegal procedures performed by untrained, unlicensed providers."
In addition to the San Diego rally, pro-life groups are hosting rallies also in others parts of California, including in Sacramento and San Francisco, and elsewhere to sensitize people on the right of the preborn child.
A Fountain Valley, Calif.-based evangelical group, Crusade for Life, is hosting "A Protest to End Abortion" on Tuesday morning at the Planned Parenthood on Tustin Avenue in Orange County. Organizers have invited pastors and pro-life activists to speak at the rally that seeks to raise issues surrounding the Jan. 22, 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the United States.
Crusade for Life president, 75-year-old Beverly Cielnicky, says her group's mission "is to make abortion illegal in America." "We believe that as long as we're killing babies, America won't be blessed," she told The Orange County Register.
The pro-life rally will be held two days after thousands of people from across California and Mexico participated in the San Diego Walk for Life in Balboa Park over the weekend.
And later on in the week, a large-scaled annual pro-life rally called March for Life will take place this Friday in Washington, D.C., on the National Mall.