By John Connolly

SAN FRANCISCO, January 21, 2008 ( – 25,000 participants attended the Walk for Life West Coast, an event attached to Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations on Sunday.

Those who participated in the walk for life bore signs and banners that read “Abortion Hurts Women” and “Women Deserve Better.” Eight California Catholic bishops were on hand to support the event. An estimated 250 pro-abortion advocates came to counter-protest the police-guarded march.

Gianna Jessen, who developed cerebral palsy as an infant after an attempted saline abortion in Los Angeles, gave an address to the crowds at the rally before the march.

“I was aborted and did not die,” she said. “I will limp my way into heaven.”

“The abortionist signed my birth certificate,” she continued, “My life is not defined by abortion. I am not a victim, I am a victor.”

Alveda King, the niece of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke to the assembly, drawing the comparison between the pro-life movement and her uncle’s civil rights campaign.

“We care about life from the womb to the tomb,” Alveda King said. “My uncle said injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. Dr. King said that the Negro cannot win if he is willing to sacrifice the future of his children for personal comfort and safety. So here we are on behalf of the children, the future generation.”

“Every day I see the joy that my son brings to me and to my family,” said Mark Bradford, who flew in from Philadelphia to walk on behalf of his 6-year-old son with Downs Syndrome. “It’s distressing to me to think that under some circumstances that beautiful life would not be brought into the world.”

A contingent of pro-abortion hecklers hoisted signs reading, “Keep your rosaries off our ovaries!”, “I hope the fetus you save is gay!”, and “I choose to have sex responsibly.”

The numbers for this year’s West Coast Walk for Life were unprecedented. The first march in 2005 drew about 5,000 pro-life marchers and last year’s walk drew approximately 20,000.

See Previous LifeSiteNews Coverage:

Pro-Life Demonstrations Nation-Wide in Lead-Up to U.S. National March for Life