*ADDED COMMENT: The purpose for putting up this article was to show how demeaning an organization can be to its cause when they take such a militant, untolerating stance toward another group who is leading a great example by being peaceful and respectful--I didn't mean to cause or imply any sort of feelings regarding the subject of abortion.*
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f ... AV32H1.DTL
Anti-abortion protesters marched through the streets singing, waiving peace signs, etc. while being harassed, jeered and insulted by pro-abortion protesters on either side.
Article below, but here's a snippett displaying that although a woman's right to choose shouldn't be infringed, ALL Americans' rights to speech and licensed protest can be:
"At one point, 35 abortion rights advocates sat in the middle of the street near Fisherman's Wharf for 10 minutes...
'We really wanted to send a clear message, that they can't roll through San Francisco, through the country with their right-wing agenda without any resistance,' said Rahula Janowski, who took part in the sit-down."
But fortunately, that led to:
God Bless the San Francisco Police Department... and you KNOW that's one mean ******.
Thousands of protesters on both sides of the abortion issue clashed in San Francisco in rival demonstrations Saturday, the 32nd anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
In dueling marches, about 6,000 antiabortion activists in the Walk for Life West Coast were jeered and harangued by about 3,000 advocates for abortion rights, some waving wire hangers, a symbol of the unsafe procedures women feared before abortion was legal.
Walk for Life organizers Dolores Meehan and Eva Muntean said they knew holding an anti-abortion rally in the liberal bastion of San Francisco would spark outrage. But doing so would draw the greatest exposure, Meehan said.
"We're trying to change hearts and minds," Meehan said. "We needed to go where people's points of view are a little bit different than ours. If we did this in Indiana, it would be interesting, but it would not have nearly the impact."
Organizers of the dueling protests had divergent strategies. The antiabortion group specifically avoided confronting its opponents, while the pro-choice contingent that lined the Embarcadero berated the larger group with insults and accused them of bringing in people from out of town to bolster its cause.
Two people with the pro-choice group were arrested for assault on a police officer, said police Capt. Denis O'Leary, who estimated the size of the two crowds.
The antiabortion rally at Justin Herman Plaza included a prayer, the singing of "Amazing Grace" and speakers affiliated with Catholic groups and Feminists for Life of America, known for the slogan "Women deserve better."
In response, people affiliated with pro-choice groups gathered at Market and Powell streets several blocks away, cheering speeches by a number of San Francisco officials, including District Attorney Kamala Harris. The group then marched down Market, pointedly avoiding the plaza by taking a detour.
But in the afternoon, the two groups marched along the waterfront and through Fisherman's Wharf, with antiabortion activists clad in orange shirts walking on the street and abortion rights advocates taking to the sidewalk with green "pro-choice" balloons. San Francisco and U.S. Park police officers on dirt bikes, motorcycles and on foot kept the two groups separated.
For the most part, the antiabortion activists ignored taunts from pro- choice marchers, smiling politely in response to jeers, flashing peace signs and singing, "God Bless America."
Abortion rights advocates, however, were anything but subdued, regarding the antiabortion marchers as invaders of the city.
"Back alleys -- no more! Abortion rights for rich and poor!" many shouted. "Keep your rosaries out of my ovaries," one sign read. Some shouted obscenities.
Near the tents of the Teatro Zinzanni show, Connie Thomson, 56, of Richmond, holding a Planned Parenthood sign, said, "We're definitely here to support women's choice, that they can do what they want with their bodies. Nobody can tell them what to do."
Her daughter, Christina Thomson, 17, agreed, saying, "The Bush administration shouldn't make that decision for us."
Meehan, the Walk for Life organizer, said about 25 percent of the antiabortion crowd was from San Francisco. Both of the march leaders are devout Catholics; Meehan is a fourth-generation San Franciscan, and Muntean lives in San Francisco.
"It's disingenuous for them to say we're outsiders," Muntean said.
The Rev. Clenard Childress of New Jersey, whose address at Justin Herman Plaza drew roars of approval, said the group's opponents were very vocal. "I've never been in a town where we got the kind of opposition we received today," Childress said.
He said of the pro-choice group, "I appreciate the zeal and some of the questions. I'm happy they came out. They're the people we're trying to reach."
But at the behest of organizers, antiabortion activists agreed not to confront pro-choice advocates.
"I don't think we're any less passionate," said Steve Cotton, 46, of Petaluma, an antiabortion marcher, as he pushed his son, Ben, in a stroller. "To be honest, I want to have a few words with them, but I promised I wouldn't. "
Cotton said, "Both sides see only one side. I don't think anybody's going to change their minds today."
Luz Chan, 27, who came with a group of 70 antiabortion advocates from Redwood City, agreed, saying that although their opponents were more aggressive, "We're not intimidated."
At one point, 35 abortion rights advocates sat in the middle of the street near Fisherman's Wharf for 10 minutes, blocking the planned path of the antiabortion group and prompting police to draw their batons. But the antiabortion group simply took a detour and moved on, ending at the Marina Green.
"We really wanted to send a clear message, that they can't roll through San Francisco, through the country with their right-wing agenda without any resistance," said Rahula Janowski, who took part in the sit-down.
At Pier 39, tourist Cathy Smith of San Diego took pictures of the protest, commenting to her mother, "This is San Francisco at its finest."
"I am pro-life," Smith said, adding that abortion rights advocates "should be very fortunate that their parents didn't ..." "Give them an abortion," finished her mother, Blanche Erickson. Erickson noted, "I don't believe in protests, good or bad."
Elsewhere, abortion opponents marched on state capitols in Colorado, South Carolina and Texas.
Those in support of the abortion rights campaign said they worry that retirements on the U.S. Supreme Court could alter the makeup of the court and lead to the reversal of Roe vs. Wade.
The pro-choice protest served as a warning to President Bush that he faces stiff opposition "if he intends to upset the balance of the Supreme Court on this issue," said Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco.
"We want to make sure our voice is heard," Leno said. "The protections of Roe vs. Wade are supported by the vast majority of California and the strong majority of America."
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom cheered on the abortion rights advocates on Market Street.
"This whole movement is about the value of choice and the empowerment of women," Newsom said.[/img]