- Associated Press - Saturday, January 26, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Thousands of abortion opponents marched across downtown San Francisco on Saturday in the 15th annual Walk for Life.

The event, which included a Roman Catholic Mass and a rally at Civic Center Plaza, was held close to the 46th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

Many people walked behind a large banner that said “Abortion HURTS Women” and carried signs with messages such as: “Defund Planned Parenthood” and “Choose Life, Your Mom Did.”

Police didn’t provide a crowd count, but organizers expected tens of thousands of participants. The marchers were met by counter-demonstrators, but there were no immediate reports of violence.

The speakers focused on abortion as a women’s health issue and brought onto the stage seven pregnant women who placed fetal heartbeat monitors against their bellies and amplified the sound of their fetuses’ heartbeats.

One speaker urged greater activism, noting that some Democratic elected officials and lawmakers across the country are trying to enact new abortion protections.

“There is no end to this cause as long as life is threatened,” said Father Shenan Boquet, president of Human Life International. “Even if today we were fighting for one child in the womb, we would still be here. Of course we would, because the injustice against the child, the injustice against life, is worth every effort.”

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