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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Where Was The Main Stream Media?

January 22, 2010
 37th Anniversary Roe v. Wade
37th Annual March for Life East Coast
6th Annual Walk for Life West Coast 
26th Annual Pro-Life Prayer Walk Los Altos, CA

After 37 years, it’s the world’s largest, most persistent Pro-life event, The March for Life East Coast in Washington DC.  This march may just represent the most important civil rights issue of our time, The Human Right to Life.  Sadly, this civil rights issue is the world’s least covered by main stream media. I follow the  events of the week of January 18-22 closely, hoping and praying that someday, maybe in my lifetime, there will come a change. 

Washington, DC

The 37th Annual March for Life Washington DC received four hours of live coverage broadcast over television, internet and radio by EWTN (* starting on January 21 with the Solemn Vigil Mass for Life, 6:30pm Eastern Time, followed Friday, January 22 with the Solemn Mass for Life at 7:30am Eastern Time and culminating with the Rally for Life and March For Life up Constitution Avenue in Washington DC, at 11am Eastern Time.

EWTN’s (Eternal Word Television Network) Doug Keck, host of “Bookmark” anchored the live coverage with Fr. Joseph. They were joined in the EWTN studio by EWTN Radio Hosts Jim and Joy Pinto and Teresa Tomeo, host of “Catholic Connection” along with Damon Owens. Unable to be present at this solemn but historic annual event, I did not miss a live moment, Mass, rally, march, speakers, whether I was in my car, via radio, or in my home office, via the internet. Thank you EWTN.

Saturday January 23rd I excitedly gathered my three newspapers, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Sacramento Bee, and the Daily Republic. Examining page after page of each paper, not skipping even one, just in case......

A beautiful view of Market Street to the Ferry Building behind Justin Herman Plaza graced the cover of The San Francisco Chronicle with accompanying article on how the changes on Market Street are a work in progress. No mention of the March for Life Washington, DC, on the 22nd. Granted we are all the way across the country on the west coast, so probably to be expected. 

Doing  a web search on The Washington Post, I found an article by William Wan Thousands march in D.C. demonstration against abortion. At first blush nothing new, pro-lifers referred to as “abortion opponents”.  The most interesting part of this article was the 3 minute video clip which opened with the pro-abortion supporters (Hey, it wasn’t their rally) chanting and surrounding pro-lifers (sorry, abortion opponents) who stand with tape over their mouth in silence. A very brave Elizabeth Kane, from Silent No More Awareness, gave her testimony on regretting her abortion and states, “what needs to be done is recognizing the unborn child as a person.”

Just shy of one minute into this video things become interesting. Lauren Gurgan of NOW states “..The right to choose whether and when to start a family is a fundamental human right and it is a constitutional right that we need to protect. This is about the choice it is not about telling people what to do and what not to do”

Students that appear to be of high school age interject that there might be other options, such as adoption. They are quickly brought down to earth at the foot of the Supreme Court by a woman expressing her option, I mean opinion, “We need to be emancipated independent human beings not dependent on what a man, our father, our boyfriend, our husband, our brother, what the church tells us or what the government tells us.” (Did she say not dependent on what the government tells us?)

A young high school girl speaks up again “But I think it is wrong to kill a little baby.” The older and wiser woman quickly responds, “Then don’t do it, but don’t tell the rest of women - the rest of humanity that we can’t do it. We need to be able to live. And we need to be able to make choices.” (Did I hear that correctly? Don't tell the rest of women - humanity that they can't kill their baby?)

Maybe the Washington Times will have more coverage. Thousands of pro-lifers storm D.C. Much better title. Estimated crowd of 200,000 comprised of mostly “college-aged crowd marched up Constitution Avenue." More information, good, good. But should I trust the Times observation and estimate?

I did happen to catch an early morning blog January 22 by Krista Gesaman for Newsweek posted at 7:30am Friday morning hours before the event started. She had a different take on the March.

Krista noted that the demonstration route was shorter this year, due to the fact says Stanley Radzilowski, a Washington D.C. officer in the planning unit, “The organizers are getting older, and it’s more difficult for them to walk long distance.” Officer Radzilowski stated that a majority of the participants are in their 60s. Krista asks the question, “where are the young, vibrant women supporting their pro-life or pro-choice positions?"

"Likely, they’re at home.” Krista Maddux, assistant professor at University of Maryland who specializes in historical feminism reminds Krista Gesaman that “Young women are still concerned about these issues, but they’re not trained to go out and protest.” I am going to refrain from comment.

Ok, so who is right? The following two YouTube videos posted shortly after the march helped me make my decision. Hard to tell how many people are at the march, just too many for me to count accurately. How old are they? I saw all ages, and sexes for that matter. 

Baylor Goes to March for Life 2010 (8 minutes) This video asks at 3:20 minutes, “But why? Why would people come out on a rainy cold, week day in the middle of January to Washington DC?” Answer, 50 million. “Yes that is the number of abortions that have occurred in America since 1973.” “And that’s why we’re here.”

I just purchased a new solar calculator from Safeway....let's see 50,000,000 divided by 37 years = 1,351,351.30 children aborted a year, divided by 12 months = 112,612.60 children per month, divideded by, well you get the picture.  Everyday in the USA approximately 4,000 children lose their life to abortion.  It wasn't their choice, but it was someones choice.

Did all those women who had abortions have the true facts regarding abortion, the procedure, and lifelong repercussions? Sad to say, no they didn't and sad to say they are still not getting the truth from abortion providers. 

I did notice from this video that many of the women who were brave enough to stand with a sign “I regret my abortion” were in their 40’s or 50’s maybe 60's. I don’t think that they just had their abortion, but I think it  takes years to come to terms with the anguish and pain that abortion causes women.  They, these brave women finally said, “I will be silent No More.”

2010 March for Life Washington DC.wmv (9 minutes) Opening Prayer, snippets from some speeches and lots of people, too many to count, and I gave up estimating ages.

Part II
San Francisco, CA

Sixth Annual Walk For Life West Coast held in San Francisco, January 23, 2010. At 8:00am Catholic Mass was celebrated at St. Mary’s Cathedral on Gough Street with, California Bishops in attendance, Archbishop George Niederauer (San Francisco), Bishop William Justice (San Francisco), Bishop Ignatius Wang (San Francisco), Bishop Salvatore Cordileone (Oakland), Bishop Stephen Blaire (Stockton), Bishop Rutilio del Riego (San Bernardino), Bishop Daniel Walsh (Santa Rosa), Bishop Jaime Soto, (Sacramento), Auxiliary Bishop Dominic Luong (Orange).

Live coverage by EWTN with Father Mark and Doug Barry, hosts of “Life on the Rock,” began with the walk at 11:00am in Justin Herman Plaza on Market Street in front of the Ferry Building. Speakers in attendance were Lila Rose, Senior at UCLA and president of Live Action an organization that conducts undercover investigations of the abortion industry, Abbey Johnson, former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan/College Station, Texas, who walked away from her job after assisting with an ultrasound during an abortion. Irene Beltran, member of Silent No More Awareness Campaign, Rev. Clenard Childress, founder of  and pastor of New Calvary Baptist Church. David Bereit, national campaign director of 40 Days for Life, a prayer and fasting campaign that began in 2004 in College Station, Texas and has spread to 282 cities in 50 states, Jim Garlow, senior pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, and radio commentator for The Garlow Perspective, And Frank Lee, coordinator of Asian Americans Pro Life. Unable to attend this year’s walk, I recorded it and watched last night.

Rising early Sunday morning I arraigned the three papers again. Sacramento Bee, silent on San Francisco Walk for Life. Well they are 50 miles away, understandable. Daily Republic, nothing. Again understandable, after all it is a local paper to Fairfield. San Francisco Chronicle, maybe the front page will show a similar picture as their Saturday edition. This time instead of looking down Market to the Ferry Building, maybe there would be a picture of the start of the Walk for Life in Justin Herman Plaza near the Ferry Building.

Front section A, nothing. Ok again understandable there is a lot of important news out there. Section B, Sporting Green. Understandable again, there are two really big games today. Section C, Bay Area page 2, success, thank you Joe Garofoli, “S.F. abortion protest draws thousands.” Finally the press has redeemed itself.

Eva Muntean, co-organizer is quoted in the article, “In this kind of weather, all of the people turned out. And most of them are young people. That’s saying something.” Mr. Garofoli mentions a counterdemonstration (yes! The pro-life demonstration was the main event) organized by the Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights drew only a few dozen demonstrators, ….. chanting “Get off our ovaries, keep your rosaries.”” (I've heard that one before).

Still starving for press coverage I resorted to the internet again.

KCBS posted on their blog Two Sides of Abortion Issues Demonstrate on Roe v. Wade Anniversary  San Francisco Police estimated more than 10,000 people. Joe Garofoli posted on his blog demonstration organizers placing the estimate at 35,000. One of Mr. Garofoli's readers sent him a spread sheet with calculations estimating the crowd at 22,809.

It may be safe to say that there were at least 22,000 at the Walk in San Francisco, not less than 10,000 and no more than 35,000. Again, I didn’t count. A little too early for YouTube to post quality video’s of the West Coast Walk this year, but I did find two dueling video’s interesting.

Walk for Life West Co[a]st Protesters (24 seconds)

Walk for Life West Coast (54 seconds)


Los Altos, CA

Last but not least I checked on my old neighborhood where I marched with our parish church group at Saint Nicholas for a few years. I was so pleased to see on Jill Stanek’s blog posed January 24, 2010 Los Altos pro-lifers march against Raging Grannies.

Last Friday January 22, 2010 as it has for the last 26 years, downtown Los Altos Main Street transformed from a sleepy town to a “hotbead of protest". Well sort of.

Every year timed to coincide with the March for Life in Washington members of my old parish, Saint Nicholas, and other pro-life supporters from the area would begin our prayer vigil with Mass  then proceed to walk down Main Street to San Antonio, about 1 mile praying the rosary.

In 2002 a local chapter of the American Association of University Women started its own march which  would proceed down the “other side” of Main Street. The Raging Grannies lead their march, though quite colorful, I too must wonder as Jill Stanek notes at the end of her blog, “They don't get that they're next .....”

I started off this week with a blog on Martin Luther King Jr. and a quote from his “I have A Dream” speech. I believe that I will end the week on the same note and pray that next year on January 22, 2011 we are even closer to recognizing our most helpless population, our children conceived and awaiting their birth, beautiful human beings, created by God, who truly have rights too, The Human Right to Life.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

Martin Luther King Jr., I Have A Dream
Delivered August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

One Heart Stops
Another Heart Breaks

Psalm 139:16
Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

To all that I know who have been affected by abortion, my prayers are with you. Seek forgiveness, as I have, from Our Lord and you are forgiven as far as the East is from the West. To those who have been lied to, seek the truth, for that will set you free. For myself, I seek forgiveness for my participation in any way during my lifetime in the "Culture of Death" fool me once shame on me, fool me twice ..... I will be silent no more.

* EWTN Global Catholic Network, in its 28th year, is available in over 150 million television households in more than 140 countries and territories. With its direct broadcast satellite television and radio services, AM & FM radio networks, worldwide short-wave radio station, Internet website and publishing arm, EWTN, is the largest religious media network in the world.

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