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January 7, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 1   •   Oakland, CA
Other front page stories
 
Ceremony at St. Columba
marks Oakland's homicides

 
Christ the King will help
build school in Haiti

 
Diocese's 50th anniversary
year in review
Papal nuncio to attend Walk for Life
 

Although an event billed as a celebration of Roe v. Wade has been scheduled for the same date as the Walk for Life West Coast, organizers of the pro-life event received a boost with the announcement that Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Pope Benedict XVI's ambassador to the United States, will attend.

"What an honor! We are so excited," said Eva Muntean, co-founder of the walk. "This is the next best thing to having the Holy Father himself with us!"

The nuncio represented the pope at the Oct. 4 installation of the Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone as archbishop of San Francisco.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has endorsed a celebration of Roe v. Wade on the 40th year of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion, and two city agencies are among the sponsors of the event — scheduled for the same day and place as the Walk for Life West Coast's conclusion at the Ferry Building.

Walk for Life organizers say this is yet another attempt to damage the grassroots pro-life event, which drew about 50,000 participants in 2012.

"There's a long history of opposition to the Walk for Life West Coast from the power structure of San Francisco. The city keeps trying to help pro-abortionists, without much success," said Muntean, who discovered last month that Justin Herman Plaza had been double-permitted to the Walk for Life and to a pro-abortion rights coalition, Trust Women/Silver Ribbon Campaign.

The Archdiocese of San Francisco is a founding sponsor of the Walk for Life, which began in 2005. Archbishop Alex J. Brunett of Oakland and Archbishop Cordileone are scheduled to attend this year.

The Walk for Life begins at Civic Center Jan. 26 with a 12:30 p.m. rally, and the walk along Market Street begins at 1:30 p.m., ending at Justin Herman Plaza at the Ferry Building. The competing event, "The Celebration of Women, Life and Liberty" to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Jan. 22, 1973, Roe v. Wade ruling is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon at Justin Herman Plaza.

An abortion rights rally at the same location last year drew about 80 people, based on reporting and video of the event.

On Dec. 11, the Board of Supervisors endorsed the abortion-rights event as part of a wide-ranging resolution marking the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The resolution, sponsored by Supervisors Malia Cohen and David Campos, states: "Access to legal and affordable family planning health care services has been integral to expanding opportunities for success and satisfaction by women and girls in the emotional, economic, educational and professional spheres, as well as for the men and children in their lives and for communities as a whole."

Cohen did not respond to an email asking for comment on the resolution.

Two city government agencies and Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights are among the sponsors of the Trust Women/Silver Ribbon Campaign event, which will include a walk down Market Street, a petting zoo, food, face painting and balloon art at Justin Herman Plaza, according to the website oursilverribbon.org. The San Francisco Department of Public Health and Department on the Status of Women are sponsors, according to oursilverribbon.org.

In addition, the Center for Policy Analysis, an umbrella organization that includes the Trust Women/Silver Ribbon Campaign, has been granted permits for 3-by-6-foot banners to hang from light poles along Market Street from Castro Street to the Embarcadero from Dec. 27 to Feb. 7, said Rachel Gordon, spokeswoman for the Department of Public Works. The city does not discriminate on content but banners must be in conjunction with a public city event, Gordon said.

— Michele Jurich

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