There were over 50,000 of us (we found later) on the Walk for Life down Market Street in San Francisco, so many that when the first ranks of 15-20 across reached Justin Herman Plaza the last ranks had not yet left the Civic Center and all two miles of street in between were filled with silent people of all ages and ethnicities, some holding signs: “Abortion Hurts Women,” “Love Them Both–Choose Life,” a hand-drawn fetus in the womb: “PLEASE DON’T–I’LL BE GOOD.”

100_6212A few dozen along the sidewalks held their own signs: “Abortion on Demand and Without Apology” and “Life Begins When You Stand up to Christian Fascists.” Some of them yelled at and mocked us as hypocrites. But two young white women, in the worst part of town, captured my heart.

One just quietly sat on the curb, legs crossed, holding that “Abortion on Demand”  sign in her lap so we could see it. I wanted to step out of the crowd and go sit down beside her and maybe, after a long time, introduce myself and ask gently, “What is your story?”

The other, her blonde hair pinned anyhow to the top of her head, was running alongside us for a block, ducking around people, cursing us out. I can’t forget her either. This issue has hurt her, devastated her. Why else would she be so angry at us, total strangers? What happened? Was it childhood abuse? Rape? An abortion? I pray for these two, that they will be safe and comforted and know they are loved.


About Jessica Renshaw
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