Anti-abortion activists rally in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Thousands of abortion opponents rallied Saturday in downtown San Francisco for the 10th annual "Walk for Life West Coast."

The protesters gathered at Civic Center Plaza in front of City Hall before planning a march down Market Street to Justin Herman Plaza. They held signs that read "Defend life" and "Women deserve better than abortion."

Nancy Castellanos, a 17-year-old high school senior from the Northern California city of Dixon, came to San Francisco with worshippers from St. Peter's Catholic Church, which brought people on six buses. She believes the laws need to change to make it harder to get an abortion.

"I am 100 percent, completely against abortion," she said. "If you don't want the child there's always adoption."

John Paine, 52, arrived with people from his church group in Visalia, a 3 ½-hour drive from San Francisco.

"I'm ashamed that my country sanctions the killing of its most defenseless of its citizens," he said. "Human life in all its stages is sacred and should be protected."

Supervisor David Campos introduced a resolution last week opposing the "Abortion hurts women" banners that protest organizers hung on Market Street.

On Wednesday, thousands of anti-abortion activists participated in the annual "Walk for Life" rally in Washington, D.C., to mark the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

Last year, California expanded abortion access with a measure that allows nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants to perform a type of early abortion.