As thousands of pro-lifers gather this month in the US capital to protest the legalization of abortion in this country, several more thousand will gather on the west coast to especially highlight another aspect of abortion: the hurt it causes women.
Eva Muntean is one of the founders of the annual Walk for Life West Coast, held since 2005.
ZENIT spoke with Muntean about the walk and about the future of the pro-life movement.
ZENIT: Tell us a bit about the history and significance of the Walk for Life on the west coast.
Muntean: The Walk for Life West Coast began in 2005. My friend Dolores Meehan and I had been to the March for Life in Washington, DC, and we were very moved by the size and fervor of the crowds. In 2004, when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom illegally began to issue “marriage” licenses to same-sex couples, we decided to have a march in defense of marriage. We were so pleased (and surprised) at the turnout that we decided to start the Walk for Life West Coast. It began in 2005 with 7,500 people, and last year we had more than 40,000.
ZENIT: Is the west coast version the same as the east coast event?
Muntean: Obviously there are great similarities, but right from the beginning our particular focus, as our banner says, is that “Abortion Hurts Women.” While the March for Life focuses on the political/legal aspects of abortion, we focus on the damage done to women (and men) by abortion. Every year we invite women to speak who will share the trauma, the suffering, and the hurt they have suffered through abortion.
ZENIT: Is this annual march — both in DC and in California — “worth it”? What do you see as the results from these events?
Muntean: Yes, it is definitely worth it. Our focus is to change the hearts and minds of people in our culture. Just last Friday, the New York Times was forced to write what was (for them) an even-handed article on the increasing number of crisis pregnancy centers around the country. That’s a result of our, and others’, work. Because the mainstream media attempts to marginalize pro-lifers, an event such as ours lets people, especially young people, know that there are others who share their beliefs.
When you see the thousands of young people at the Walk for Life West Coast you cannot help but notice how happy they are, despite the seriousness of the issue. The Walk for Life West Coast is a countercultural event.
ZENIT: From your vantage point, how do you see the future of pro-life work in the United States, both in these next four years and longer-term?
Muntean: Youth, youth, youth. It is the old guard who support abortion. But “the times they are a-changing.” Through the prevalence of ultrasound and other modern technologies, the humanity of the unborn child is ever more apparent, and young people are getting it. If they were born after 1972, they also realize, however dimly, that they themselves could have legally been killed. One of our great young pro-life groups is called the “Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust.”
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On the Net:
More information on the west coast Walk for Life: www.walkforlifewc.com