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On January 26, two diametrically opposed ideologies chose San Francisco as their battleground. To our left, the pro-choice army convened at the city’s Embarcadero to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade (which formally legalized abortion throughout the United States); to our right, the pro-life army convened for its ninth annual Walk for Life (the largest anti-abortion event on the West Coast).

What happened when the two armies clashed?


Did the “misogynist Christo-Fascists” triumph?


Or did the “racist baby lynchers” prevail?

The answer can be found in that old ’60s slogan, “What if they gave a war and nobody came?” Because while huge numbers of people did indeed show up, the two camps studiously avoided each other. Well, that’s not entirely true: The main army of about 1,000 leftists put on a little show to amuse themselves and then basically fled the field of battle before the vastly more numerous pro-life crowd even started marching. Only a handful of leftists stayed around to confront their opponents, but they drowned in a sea of 50,000 pro-lifers. (Yes, it was that lopsided.)

Along the way, we were treated to scenes like this:

[Pro-choice woman haranguing pro-life marchers:]

Get your vaginal probe out of my vagina!
Get your crucifix out of my uterus!
Oh yeah, the truth hurts!
What are you teaching your little children? How to make women DIE???
Get your crucifix out of my uterus!
Get your crucifix out of my uterus!
Get your crucifix out of my uterus!
Get your vaginal probe out of my vagina!
Get your crucifix out of my vagina!
Get your vaginal probe out of my vagina!
That’s disgusting! What are you looking around for?
Vaginas!
Uteruses!
Get your crucifix out of my vagina!
Get your crucifix out of my vagina.
Get your crucifix out of my uterus!
Get your vaginal probe out of my vagina!
Get your vaginal probe out of my vagina!
Get the cross out of my…uterus.
Get your crucifix out of my uterus!
Oh, a t-shirt: We wouldn’t want you to learn anything!
Vaginal probes out of my vagina!
Get your crucifix out of my uterus!

But wait — we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s go back to the beginning of the day and see what happened at each stop along the way.


I was lured to the Embarcadero by announcements from various feminist groups that there was to be a major rally on January 26 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Especially exciting was the planned “flash mob performance” to “end violence and sexual oppression.” But when I first got there it was nothing much more than a few hundred people standing around holding paper bags with seemingly off-topic messages like “33% of women in prison report childhood SEXUAL ABUSE.” What this had to do with abortion was anyone’s guess.


After a while, a parade of local politicians took to the stage to support abortion rights. Here we have Scott Wiener, a gay city supervisor who recently made international headlines (and infuriated some of his constituents) when he proposed the first-ever city-wide ban on nudity. Behind him we have none other than Sandra Fluke, the wealthy 31-year-old college student who has so much sex she can’t afford to pay for her own contraception. Or at least so she falsely claimed in an attempt to make a political point during congressional hearings. Even though nobody actually believed her ridiculous calculations, it instantly made her a hero to the left and a laughingstock to the right, and now she spends her days giving speeches at feminist events like this one. Does it really matter what she had to say here at RvW40? No, it didn’t. Her mere presence was the point, a statement in itself.


Some participants carried a banner saying “Good women have abortions,” which is either a very bold assertion, or some poorly mangled grammar, or a too-clever attempt to intentionally craft a message with several possible interpretations. I vote for option three. If an offended pro-lifer were to look at the banner and say, “Are you implying that the mere act of having an abortion makes someone a good person, and by extension that not having an abortion makes one a bad woman?”, then the liberal with the sign would reply, “No, you silly conservative, all we’re saying is that having an abortion doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a bad person; good people can have abortions and remain good people.” But as the conservative walks away, intellectually defeated, the liberal snickers, “Ha ha! Fooled you. We are indeed saying that abortions make you good. And we’re getting away with it, because our message is so ambivalently worded that we can always deny it to your face should you ever try to pin us down!”


I kept seeing the same message at various parts of the rally, this time at the NOW booth. I wasn’t sure if the same banner was being passed around, or if the organizers had several printed up.


As several people already noted on Twitter, Code Pink showed up at this event wearing the same giant vagina costumes that gained them so much notoriety at last year’s Democratic convention.


I was hoping to see them do the vagina dance, but (as we will soon see) when the pre-arranged flash-mob dance started, the costumed Code Pinkers alas didn’t participate and instead just stood in the audience.


A short time later I saw one of the abandoned vagina costumes lying on the ground, and I was sorely tempted to borrow it for a few minutes, put it on, and go become a vagina dancer myself. But, as usual, I chickened out. “Don’t be a pussy!” my conscience yelled at me, but the mixed message only made me more conflicted.


Various communist groups, like these humorless Bolsheviks, drifted through the crowd.


As usual, liberals freely allow extreme revolutionary communists to set up booths at their events, and no one complains and the media will not comment on this practice. Yet imagine if the reverse was true: that conservatives allowed, say, neo-Nazis to set up booths at their events. First of all, it would never happen, as the conservatives would ban them and/or boot them out instantly, for if they allowed the extremists to contaminate their events, the media would trumpet the presence of the neo-Nazis and tar the whole movement with them. But when (as it always does) the exact same thing happens on the liberal side — silence.

Note also in the photo above that amongst the communist books on sale at this pro-choice rally was Friedrich Engels’ The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, one of the fundamental building blocks of the left’s anti-family philosophy. In this seminal tome, Engels argues that the nuclear family is a modern invention designed to oppress women, and that group marriage or polyamory or free love are superior social structures, and that capitalism can only be destroyed by first destroying the traditional family. Just in case you thought this “pro-choice” thing was actually about “choice” or any other idiotic progressive euphemism. The left’s ultimate purpose for making abortion legal is to facilitate promiscuity so as to destroy sexual fidelity and along with it the sanctity of the nuclear family, paving the way for socialist revolution. Perhaps the average foot-soldier in the pro-choice camp isn’t aware of this, but the leaders at the highest echelons of the movement surely must be.


This sign is actually a fascinating logical paradox. The statement can only be true for one generation. If you start in the first generation with a fetus, and then it grows up into a “woman for choice,” then that woman gets pregnant, and being a woman for “choice,” she then chooses to abort the second-generation fetus, which does not grow up to be a woman for choice, because it does not grow up at all. Even if some women choose to not abort later-generation fetuses under this signs’s scenario, the population of each pro-choice generation will decrease in comparison to a separate pro-life group, in which all fetuses will come to term.

Some game theory problems can only be solved by setting some original parameters and then letting the simulation play itself out through many iterations. It’d like to see a computer scientist devise a schematized real-world “game” which incorporates the various parameters in the abortion debate and let it run for hundreds or thousands of generations to see how it ends up. Say, for example, you start with two equal sub-populations, one which is “pro-choice,” and one which is “pro-life.” The pro-choice units copulate more often, but also use birth control more often, and when they do get pregnant, they’re much more likely to abort the offspring. The pro-life units have less sex, but also use less birth control, and when they do get pregnant, they’re far less likely to terminate the offspring. Let the simulation run and see which side begins to dominate. But to make the simulation more realistic, you’d have to account for the fact that the pro-choice side controls education and the media, so that a certain percentage of young units on the pro-life side will be successfully indoctrinated and lured into the opposing camp. However if the pro-choice population begins to drop precipitously, then their grip on the indoctrination levers will start to loosen, meaning fewer converts. Simultaneously, the “biological clock” factor will play out in favor of the pro-life side, since as pro-choice units age their craving to have children will increase and may make them cross over into the pro-life camp. Anyway, one could fiddle with the parameters and see if an equilibrium can be reached, or if one side or the other will always come to dominate as the function collapses.

Alternately, one could make a brainless sign and leave it at that.


This was one of the most ill-conceived paper bags, with the vaguely menacing and arithmetically challenged message

Your DAUGHTER
Your SISTER
Your MOTHER
Your WIFE
one in three: RAPED OR BEATEN

Is that a threat? Or a math quiz?


Many people were wearing buttons that said “Dr. George Tiller: HERO.”
(For those unfamiliar with his name, Tiller was a Kansas doctor who specialized in performing late-term abortions, and who was eventually murdered by extremist madman Scott Roeder.)


It’s now de rigueur at events like these for over-the-hill former ’60s activists to dress up as “radical grannies”; even though such women almost certainly never spent their lives as old-fashioned housewives, they imagine that if they don the stereotypical costumes of mid-century mid-America (aprons, hats, etc.) this somehow magically accords them the respect and credence one might normally give to “respectable old ladies,” and that this respect will transfer effortlessly to the radical politics they espouse beneath the artificial costumery. Or, in other words, they hope that people like me will think, “Gee, if this respectable old-fashioned granny has far-left opinions, then such opinions must be mainstream and reasonable!” Nice plan, but sorry, didn’t work.

By now the crowd had to swelled to about 1,000, and everyone, including me, was waiting around for the main event, a “flash mob”-style dance performance organized by Code Pink and Eve “Vagina Monologues” Ensler’s One Billion Rising organization, among several other feminist and left-wing groups.

The whole point behind “flash mobs” is that they are supposed to happen “spontaneously,” or at least “pseudo-spontaneously,” in which several hundred people surreptitiously gather in some crowded downtown location and suddenly erupt into coordinated dancing or whatever, to the utter astonishment of all the shocked squares around them. In fact, “shocking the squares” is the only reason why any flash mob exists; there’d be no point in organizing a flash mob in the middle of nowhere with no oblivious witnesses around to observe it.

Similarly, there’d be no point in publicly pre-announcing a flash mob and then performing exclusively for people who know about it ahead of time, all of whom showed up specifically to watch the “show.” That’s not spontaneous, and no one is surprised. But that’s exactly what happened at the Embarcadero: The speakers kept announcing, “The surprise performance will be happening soon! Get ready!” To which the audience would cheer, “Yay, the flash mob! This is gonna be great!” Talk about defeating the purpose.

Further solidifying the artificial feel to the whole thing was the presence of several professional film crews hired by One Billion Rising to create a “professionally filmed street performance” which they will later release as a “viral video” to “the media.” Ever get the feeling you’re being manipulated?


The professional still photographers set up ladders around the performance space to spontaneously document all the organic unexpected happenings.


Costumed professional dance troupes hired by Code Pink waited in the wings for the signal to spontaneously appear.


The video camera operators got into position and the moment had arrived: Time to unleash the taiko drums, announcing the start of the unexpected flash mob!


First up was a large group of teenage girls and young women doing various sexualized gyrations. This seemed like a self-conscious attempt by the organizers to bring back the glory days of the 1960s when the presence of countless “open-minded” girls in the counter-culture made it so appealing to the nation’s boys that it grew into a mass movement and created a social revolution.


The gyrations were interspersed with somber ritual movements focusing on individual dancers holding those paper bags with tragic (but irrelevant) statistics like “Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is battered – My BODY is HOLY.”


Unexpectedly, this was spontaneously followed by a series of ethnic dance troupes, such as this belly dance covey. Note the two camera crews who by sheer chance just happened to be standing right where the dancers materialized!


Then the hormone-powered Estrogen Dancers were brought back to do the Never Again Samba.


Next, about 500 “community dancers” (i.e. random people who signed up ahead of time) did the “Abortion on Demand & Without Apology Polka.”


It was right around here that the absurdity and grotesquerie of what I was witnessing really began to sink in. Whatever side of the issue you’re on, abortion is a very serious and heart-rending subject, and to “celebrate” the 40th anniversary of legalized abortion with joyous dances suddenly seemed like the height of poor taste.


The performance was concluded by some weird culty-looking group doing strange prayers in a circle.


Then they sang a dreary song while their desperate eyes pleaded “Help me! I’m trapped in a cult!”


As the performances were wrapping up, the more hardcore pro-abortion groups started handing out these flyers, encouraging everyone to go confront the Walk for Life directly.

I thought the flyers were a bit unnecessary, because wasn’t this whole dance performance thing just a prelude to the big looming confrontatition against the pro-life march, which was due to show up any minute? Isn’t that the real reason why we’re all here?

But no! I was shocked to watch as, after the final cult prayer, everyone just got up and started wandering off home. The organizers had gathered 1,000 activists together and filled them with righteous pro-choice energy, and rather than using that energy to perhaps win some converts from the pro-life side or at least neutralize the opposing protest, instead the event was called to an end and everyone was dismissed, completely dissipating the energy and losing a huge opportunity.

It dawned on me that the pro-choice side had no interest in confronting the pro-life side — in fact, they wanted to do everything they could to avoid the pro-life side, because the wishy-washy left does not like to have its narratives challenged. We all knew from previous Walks for Life, in which the two sides did come into direct contact, that the pro-choice side came off looking mean-spirited and frivolous, while the pro-life side didn’t conform to stereotypes and instead were silent, high-minded and powerful seeming. Also despite the overly optimistic titles like “One Billion Rising,” the pro-choice side probably knew they were going to be badly outnumbered, so they instead chose to skip town before any direct head-count comparisons could be made. But by fleeing, the pro-choicers just ended up seeming narcissistic and risk-avoidant.


The political cowardice of the wishy-washy feminist left also seemed to infuriate the more in-your-face pro-abortion groups in attendance, and as the crowd drifted away the hardcore abortion advocates used loudspeakers to beg everyone to join them in a counter-march against the Walk For Life, which I was surprised to learn was not even going to arrive at the Embarcadero for another two hours at least, after which all the pro-choicers would be long gone.

Not many people heeded the pro-abortionists’ summons, but I decided to hook up with them since I was heading over to document the Walk for Life anyway. Might as well have an escort.


So off I went with the extremist pro-abortion “StopPatriarchy.org” contingent to confront the “fascist” (as I was informed) Walk for Life.


But a no-holds-barred pro-life group called “World Life Organization” had set up an advance outpost at Powell and Market to intercept and distract the StopPatriarchy.org raiding party before they could reach the main pro-life headquarters at Civic Center. The plan worked perfectly, as the arriving leftists went apoplectic with rage upon seeing the aborted fetuses slideshow on WLO’s gigantic electronic billboard. [Update: The Walk for Life organizers emailed to say: "We did everything in our power to get the people with the jumbotron not to come — they are NOT part of Walk for Life. We are a family event and these kinds of images are not appropriate."]


The chanting pro-abortion crowd swarmed around the World Life Organization’s fortified encampment.


They at first tried to cover up the electronic billboard with their signs, but it was far too large and elevated.


The leftists’ next tactic was to scream that the images were somehow faked. And while that claim was self-evidently not true — one has seen enough images of mid-term and late-term abortions to know that the bloody shredded mini body parts shown on the screen were real enough — I was bothered by an uneasy feeling that the images were “off” in a way that at first I couldn’t pin down. Then it dawned on me: The images may not have been “faked,” but they must have been “staged.” Why else would there be a child’s crayon positioned next to dismembered fetuses? Other scenes showed short video clips of someone poking a surgical implement into a soup of abortion leftovers. The only explanation I could come up with is that anti-abortion activists somehow gained (or were granted) access to an abortion clinic’s or hospital’s “medical waste,” which they then photographed and videotaped to show as vividly as possible the gruesome aftermath of what aborted fetuses really look like — what the doctors and the pro-choice activists don’t want you to see. So while the body parts shown on the billboard were almost certainly real, I think the WLO may have gone a bit overboard with the melodramatic heart-rending crayons and so forth.


It seemed that many of the pro-abortion crowd actually thought that this small outpost was the entirety of the Walk for Life, so they deployed their “THIS MARCH HATES WOMEN” arrows.

In reality, the Walk for Life organizers themselves tried to talk the WLO out of showing the aborted fetuses, but weren’t successful at stopping them: “A Jumbotron displaying a graphic video of aborted children was set up by an anti-abortion group midway along the Walk route, despite efforts by Walk organizers to dissuade the group from playing the video.”


The WLO sent emissaries into the hostile crowd to engage in one-on-one ideological combat.


I didn’t see any minds being changed, but one WLOer with a sort of Amish beard was doing a good job of answering every argument his opponents could come up with.


Keep in mind that all this was happening at Powell and Market — the famous cable-car turnaround.


As the brakemen rotated the cable cars, the tourists dutifully lined up and tried their best to act blasé about the screaming and chanting just steps away.

And screaming there was. Inert photos can never quite capture the volume, emotion and hostility erupting from the protesters. This video of Mr. Amish Beard facing off against a phalanx of pro-abortionists gives a good taste of what it was like to be in the crowd. (Video courtesy of contributor Juklux.)


The screaming pro-abortion woman would just not stop tormenting Mr. Amish Beard, who did everything he could to control himself.


Further confusing the male leftists was the fact that WLO’s leather-jacketed spokeswoman was exactly the kind of girl whom, in any another setting, they might ask out on a date.


But her post beneath a grim abortion montage was guaranteed to quash any suitor’s romantic notions.


China’s totalitarian government often enforces its “one-child policy” by performing forced abortions — no “choice” involved — on unwilling pregnant mothers; while in the former Soviet Union abortion was the primary means of birth control. Yet this schmuck showed up with a Maoist bookbag and hammer-and-sickle beret- and lapel pins. If he was trying to send a message, he succeeded.


Occupy Oakland, having run out of things to smash and any other rationale for their continued existence, crossed the Bay to protest for abortion because…because…uh…Liberate Everything and Down With Capitalism!


Obama’s Biggest Fan threw his support to the pro-abortion side, naturally. Notice all the things he’s grateful to Obama for: SSI, CNN, Section 8, NPR, HUD, MSNBC, and marijuana, among others. A veritable stereotype come to life.


The leftists lugged around a massive yet nearly indecipherable blue-green banner which, under closer inspection, was an annotated map which listed capitalism’s crimes against women — continuing the message from the earlier rally which conflated restrictions on abortion with every imaginable human rights violation.


But the map taught me one incontrovertible fact: If anything bad happens to any woman anywhere in the world, it’s America’s fault.


Does the left intentionally turn every argument into a farce — by, for example, wearing an African hat and beating a crazy drum as their reply to serious moral questions — or just does it turn out that way by accident?

At this point I scampered over to the Civic Center to see how the real Walk for Life was shaping up.

Oh. My. God.

Seriously, I was not prepared for the size of the crowd. I had asked a policeman preparing the route along Market Street about the size of the protest, and he said it was “the biggest I’ve ever seen.”


I arrived just as the Walk for Lifers were told to assemble along the parade route. I just stood there as a sea of people flowed past me. By this stage, the vast majority of them were already behind me.

(More photos of the crowd can be found at Big Journalism and SFGate. A panoramic photo of the Civic Center crowd can be viewed here.)

The official estimate was “more than 50,000″ marchers, while the San Francisco Chronicle only vaguely said “tens of thousands.” ABC said “The crowd was so large that it took the better part of an hour for it to clear the [Civic Center] plaza.” I’ll have to settle for the 50,000 guesstimate, but will note this: This 2013 Walk for Life crowd was far larger than some San Francisco anti-war protests I attended back in 2003 and 2004 which at the time were said to be 100,000 or 200,000 or more. So either the size of the liberal crowd was over-estimated back then, or the size of the conservative crowd was underestimated this year — or both. (Par for the course, I realize, but it must be noted.)


I wanted to get to the front of the march, but I quickly determined that it would be impossible to force my way through tens of thousands of people, so instead I took the long way around back to Market.


Along the way I encountered these cute nuns…


…and these young Catholics with interesting outfits and a rather arresting sign.


Someone carried a pointed quote from Mother Teresa which directly confronted the pro-choicers’ argument that abortion should be legal because not all women who become pregnant are “ready” to have a child — i.e. that it all comes down to a matter of convenience. But of course the Mother Teresa quote relies on the assumption that the embryo/fetus/whatever is already a person, a claim which the pro-choice side rejects.

(Perhaps I should pause to briefly explain where I myself stand on the abortion issue. Although I’m very close to being in the middle on an issue that seems to have no middle, if forced to declare sides I’d have to say [most likely to everyone's surprise] that I’m pro-choice. But just barely.

Yet unlike just about seemingly everyone else in this debate, I also know that my opinion is just my personal opinion and nothing more, and shouldn’t be forced on the nation at large.

Both sides tend to slide down the slippery slope to extremes: pro-choicers generally want to allow abortion up until the ninth month with no restrictions, no cost, no parental approval or even notification, no shame, no regret. Many pro-lifers declare that even a single-cell fertilized egg is already a fully fledged human being with all human rights, and want no exceptions for rape, incest or anything else. Me, I think both of these positions are untenable — which leaves me in the impossible situation of deciding at which arbitrary point in gestation that an egg/zygote/embryo/fetus/whatever does make the transition from cell to human. Currently I’ve settled on the compromise that a baby achieves “ensoulment” when its neural system develops to such an extent that brain activity can be detected — somewhere around the fourth month, if I understand correctly. Therefore, abortion in the first trimester doesn’t bother me nearly as much as abortions in the second [or third] trimester.

But luckily I’m not a dictator making the rules, because I frankly confess I’m no expert in matters biological or theological. You wanted my opinion, you got it.

Even so, I still think Roe v. Wade should be overturned! Why? Because my firm belief in [modern] federalist principles easily trumps my wavering grasp of embryology. Roe v. Wade is a prime example of judicial overreach: the central government’s powers are strictly limited to those enumerated in the Constitution and everything else must necessarily fall to the individual states. And abortion is definitely not mentioned in the Constitution. Thus the citizens of each state should have the power to enact any laws conforming to that state’s “local standards.” If Vermont wants to legalize abortion, so be it; and if Alabama wants to outlaw it, then so be it as well. That’s the way it was before Roe v. Wade, and that’s the way it should have remained.

Don’t get me wrong: I’d be just as opposed to any law or ruling that banned abortion nationwide as I am opposed to the current ruling which legalizes it nationwide. To me, the content of a law or ruling doesn’t so much matter as the principles under which it is enacted. And in this instance, the legality of abortion one way or the other should be decided for each state by the citizens of that state, and should not be imposed by an all-powerful central government.

So yes, in this essay I note the many hypocrisies and idiocies of the pro-choice activists, even though I’m “on their side.” Yet the small extent to which I’m technically “pro-choice” [up until the fourth month at least] is overwhelmed by the great extent to which I disagree with the pro-choicers’ tactics and extremism, and most importantly with their desire to force their opinions on the entire nation in violation of Constitutional principles.)

Where were we? Oh that’s right, the march…


Finally I got in front of the assembled marchers just as the Walk for Life began. The carried their signature “Abortion HURTS Women” banner, which they carry every year.

To be honest, that seems like somewhat of a peculiar choice to have as the march’s main message. If it’s the Walk for Life, shouldn’t the focus be on the life of the unborn child, rather than the pain experienced by the mother? Also, mightn’t it be more advisable to have a positive message foregrounded rather than a negatively phrased slogan? Maybe starting next year, instead of the grumpy “Abortion HURTS Women,” try something like “Honor All Life” or “Every Human Being Is Infinitely Precious” or something a bit more uplifting.


The crowd surged forward with a seemingly mile-long column stretching off into the distance and back into Civic Center Plaza.

The march route took us straight down Market Street all the way from Civic Center to the Embarcadero. While the main tenor of the event was somber and serious (as it should be, in contrast to the flippant and frivolous atmosphere at the earlier pro-choice event), here are some of the more interesting signs and scenes I encountered along the way.


I particularly liked signs that confronted or mocked liberal hypocrisies, such as this fetus saying “Pretend I’m a Tree and Save Me.”


Or this one, which riffed on the “COEXIST” bumper sticker so beloved by liberal Volvo drivers.


The “Zinger of the Day” award goes to Ronald Reagan for this quip, which remains as funny and devastating as when he first said it.


On a more serious note: The most effective message of the day and the one that the pro-choice side least wants to see was this sign held by an African-American pro-life marcher which read “Abortion is racist baby lynching!”

Ouch!

Abortion is already enough of a hot-button issue; but add race into the mix and you have ideological nitroglycerin. Nobody denies that African-American women abort their babies at a rate that far exceeds that of any other race — a black fetus or embryo is five times more likely to be aborted and killed than is a white fetus or embryo — so the argument has now turned to whether or not this is a good thing. Progressives contend that it is liberating for poor black women not to be burdened with far more babies than they can possibly afford to raise. But conservatives — including and especially a growing number of black pastors — point out that this essentially results in a slow-motion genocide of the black race.


But the problem goes much deeper than that for the progressives. Margaret Sanger was a leader of the progressive movement near its beginnings over a century ago and was of course also the founder of Planned Parenthood, and is universally acknowledged as the one person most responsible for making abortion mainstream and acceptable. To this day, as evidenced by this sign held by one of the pro-choice counter-protesters, she remains a hero to progressives.

So what’s the problem? This: Margaret Sanger was a racist and a eugenicist, and frankly admitted that the main goal of her birth control and abortion advocacy was to decrease the number of “unfit” people in society. Even Wikipedia is forced to admit “Sanger believed that lighter-skinned races were superior to darker-skinned races,” and that she also advocated for the forced sterilization of the disabled and slow-witted — to prevent them from breeding and contaminating the “race.”

Arguments still rage about what exactly Sanger meant when she said various now-infamous quotes such as “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members”; did she “not want the word to go out” because (as Planned Parenthood now insists) black genocide was never her intent? Or did she “not want the word to go out” because (as some black intellectuals then and now suspect) then her exterminationist goal would be thwarted?

Weighing all the other evidence and judging by the context of her other beliefs — that blacks are inferior, that abortion is part of a larger eugenics movement designed to remove inferior people from the population, that much of her highfalutin’ language about “choice” and “freedom” was just a smokescreen to hide her true goal of achieving racial purity — I find it hard to reach any other conclusion than that she truly did want to decrease the number of blacks in America.

As long as Margaret Sanger remains a hero to the left, and as long as her organization Planned Parenthood remains at the forefront of abortion advocacy, the progressive movement will continue to be burdened by the true story of its racist origins. Which is why signs like “Abortion is racist baby lynching!” are so dangerous to the progressive self-narrative.


Along the route the marchers were met by a smattering of counter-protesters. We already met this woman in a video presented at the beginning of this report. It’s such a revealing video that it merits a second viewing, this time in context as it occurred during the march:

Naive viewers might be mystified as to why this horrid old witch keeps shouting “vagina” and “vaginal probe” and “uterus” at children. It is no accident — it’s part of a conscious strategy increasingly used by the left. As I noted in my report about the Walk for Life three years ago, the goal is “to use vulgarity and sexuality to rob the other side of its innocence and somehow in the process thereby drag the pro-lifers into the gutter where prim virginity is no longer a source of power but rather something to be mocked.” Progressives like this woman try to win converts not by defeating their opponents’ arguments but rather by using degradation and explicit lasciviousness to sully the chastity of conservative children. Progressives do this institutionally with X-rated sex education classes in public middle schools, they do it when they dress up as vulvas in pro-Democratic campaign ads, they do it with overly sexualized lyrics, TV shows and movies, and when all else fails, they do it by spitting “Vaginal probe!” in the faces of little girls.


Here’s an interesting scene: a secular pro-life organization walking past an aggressively atheist pro-choice banner. Most people generally frame the debate exclusively along religious lines: Christians are all pro-life, non-Christians are all pro-choice. But as this photo reveals, it’s not so cut-and-dried: There are pro-life secularists, and plenty of pro-choice liberal Christians too.


Every now and then the march would halt, to allow photographers to get crisp photos of the leading phalanx.

Here and there, hecklers would yell at the marchers, as seen in this video.


Of all the signs, this was (in my opinion) the most well-conceived and upbeat: Focus on the positivity of life, and the joy of the family.


Conversely, this was the most ill-conceived. While it may be technically true that Hitler supported abortion, it violates a corollary to Godwin’s Law, which states “Whichever side in a dispute first mentions Hitler automatically loses the argument.” Well, now that I think about it, the left have been calling the pro-lifers “fascists” and “Nazis” for decades, so I guess they already lost the argument, but in any event it isn’t smart to stoop to their level. Furthermore, while it is true that in some totalitarian states abortion is sometimes legal and encouraged (or even compulsory), in other totalitarian regimes at various points in history (especially when the government wants cannon fodder for upcoming wars) abortion is strictly outlawed. Since the argument cuts both ways, it’s best to drop it.


But the march was mostly composed of regular people with no signs at all or with non-controversial signs like “Defend life.”


I tried to get a photo from an elevated vantage point to show just how long the column of pro-lifers was, but it extended literally as far as the eye (or even the camera) could see. Overwhelming.


Meanwhile, back at Powell and Market, the pro-abortion crowd had finally wised up that the handful of people that they’d been arguing with were not the entirety of Walk for Life, so by this time there were counter-protesters lined up awaiting the arrival of the main march. Big banners declaring “Abortion on Demand & Without Apology” and “Life Begins When You Stand Up to Christian Fascists” awaited the marchers.

The pro-abortion crowd may have thought that they had overwhelmed the small vanguard WLO contingent by sheer numbers, eventually arraying themselves along the sidewalk and dominating the intersection. And then…a wall of pro-lfers descended on them and practically washed them away like corks on a raging river. The two photos below were taken from approximately the same vantage point, the first one showing the confident pro-abortion crew dominating the scene…while the second one shows the same spot a few minutes later as the first wave of pro-lifers overwhelms them:


The “Abortion on Demand” signs finally met their match in the “1/3 of our generation has been killed by abortion” fetal skeleton signs.


There wasn’t much mention of the president all day, but what little Obama-love there was could all be found among the pro-abortion contingent.

As the front of the march passed by the counter-protesters, the “Abortion on Demand & Without Apology” banner noticeably deflated, as the following four photos in sequence show:




I’m not sure if this was simply a coincidence or instead was the pro-abortion crowd literally feeling the wind go out of their sails.


The pro-lifers were all smiles as they passed through the enemy camp, barely even acknowledging their detractors.


We started the day with the pro-choice dancers trying to win the culture war by harnessing the hormonal power of female adolescence; but the pro-life crowd one-upped them with wholesome adolescent estrogen energy. Touché!

The march continued all the way to the Embarcadero, essentially without further incident.

Were any minds changed? Hard to say. But the pro-lifers once again vastly outnumbered their opponents even on the pro-choice “home turf.” And while the day’s pro-choice narrative was muddled, scattershot and occasionally hypocritical, the pro-lifers kept a unified and morally consistent message. In the end, neither side openly acknowledged what I think this battle is actually all about — whether or not we should encourage casual sex so as to undermine the nuclear family, or discourage casual sex to affirm the nuclear family — but the pro-life crowd came closest to being honest about their goals.

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