This article was written in February 2017 and reflects on the 2017 Walk for Life.
“God… from my mother’s womb had set me apart and called me through his grace” (St. Paul to the Galatians 1:15)
Last Saturday, January 21st, I was honored to join tens of thousands of men and women in the grand Civic Center of San Francisco. We gathered to pray, listen to sound teaching, march, and to make our voices known for the countless children in the womb who have no voice and whose very lives are threatened by the Supreme Court decision known as Roe v. Wade.
This was my fifth Walk for Life in San Francisco, and every year I find it so inspiring and humbling to be with so many people – young and old – believer and non-believer. (Yes, there is even a group known as “Secularists for Life” present.) These people are willing to give up a day, risk potentially ugly confrontations with pro-abortion supporters, and say that we care about the unborn AND their mothers and fathers. We care about a society that could treat the most vulnerable in our midst in such a cruel way. We care about our future and our children’s future, because all of our lives are inextricably bound one to another in the fabric that the Lord has woven.
The Walk for Life began with the Silent No More Campaign, led by Deacon Georgette Forney and Anglican’s For Life. This campaign is designed to give voice to the women who’ve had abortions and the men in their lives, regarding the harm that they had done and that had been done to them. How powerful it was to hear young women in their late teens and early twenties, and mature women in their sixties clearly stating, “I REGRET MY ABORTION.” They spoke of their fear and the belief that they had no other options. They spoke of the pressure that family members and friends put upon them to abort their child. They spoke of the physical pain of the abortion procedure and the lies that had been told to them, such as: “It won’t hurt – it’s just removing a cluster of tissues.” They spoke of the emotional pain and sorrow that they have experienced dealing with the guilt of participating in the murder of their unborn child. And they spoke of the healing and forgiveness brought by God in his grace and through his church.
What a pleasure to hear of the retreat, “Rachael’s Vineyard”, that is offered around the country – including here in the valley – for women and men dealing with their decisions to abort a child. What joy to hear women and men declare the love and peace they felt in our Lord’s embrace, finally dealing with the loss of their child.
Next year the Diocese of San Joaquin will host an Anglicans for Life Symposium on the Friday evening prior to the Walk for Life, and you are all cordially invited. Put it on your calendars! Friday, January 26th, 2018 will be the Symposium, and the 27th will be the Walk for Life West Coast!
God bless you all!
Written by The Rt. Rev. Eric Menees, Bishop of the ACNA Diocese of San Joaquin. This article was originally published in AFL’s March 2017 edition of the Carpe Diem March 2017.