SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 28, 2013—A Filipina wife and mother, fresh from attending a pro-life event in the United States West Coast with some 50,000 other life advocates, urged Filipinos to hold on to time-tested of values of respect for life and love for children amid the changing social climate brought on by the recent enactment into law of the RH bill.
“We have to continue to love life and not give in to the contraceptive mentality, which promotes that more babies are a burden, that pregnancy is a disease and a hindrance to financial growth and development or career growth,” said Rowena Mendoza de Guzman, a US-based pro-lifer who took part in the 9th annual Walk for Life West Coast together with family and friends on Jan. 26, the day after the March for Life took place on the other side of the country.
“All life is precious and sacred and should be protected from the moment of conception to natural death. The families will really have to teach their children the value of each life, to give importance to people and treat each one according to the dignity and value that each one deserves. Otherwise, people will treat others like property,” she lamented.
De Guzman’s husband and brood of six boys aged 2 to 12 prepared well for the Saturday event, even fashioning their own hand-drawn posters bearing life-affirming messages. Their signs read “A person’s a person no matter how small,” attributed to Dr. Seuss, “Choose life,” “Every life is precious” plus two modified Stop signs that read “Stop abortion.”
Taking part in the Walk for Life West Coast for the third straight year now, De Guzman – who moved to the US with her husband 12 years ago – strives to educate her children on culture-of-life issues.
“I asked my three older kids what they thought about the walk and why they think we needed to walk for life. They replied: ‘So that more people will know about abortion,’ ‘So that the killing of babies would stop,’ ‘To let people know abortion is wrong,’ ‘To change the laws about abortion,’” the mother related.
The estimated 50,000 participants this year are also a far cry from the 7,000 during the 1st Walk for Life West Coast in 2005, which certainly have not gone unnoticed by abortion rights advocates. In news reports and interviews in 2012, defenders of abortion on demand including “veteran” activists from Planned Parenthood – the biggest provider of abortion services in the United States – admitted that the pro-abortion side has been losing the battle.
“That’s also because the young people are pro-life,” De Guzman said.
Unlike temperatures that dipped and snowfall that caught up with the marchers in Washington D.C. toward the end of the event, it was “the most perfect weather in San Francisco” on Saturday, according to De Guzman, “and it wasn’t too cold or breezy at all. It was great to see so much more people than last year, too.”
Pope Benedict XVI’s representative to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano delivered a message from the pope along with his papal blessing during the rally that started at around 12:30 at Civic Center Plaza.
Pope Benedict’s message, which was also sent out on a Vatican Twitter feed, said His Holiness “is grateful to all those who take part in this outstanding public witness to the fundamental human right to life and the moral imperative of upholding the inviolable dignity of each member of our human family, especially the smallest and most defenseless of our brothers and sisters,” according to the Walk for Life West Coast website.
At 1:30, participants started walking, with young and old life advocates brandishing various signs and streamers expressing life-affirming slogans. By around 4:00, everyone had reached Justin Herman Plaza.
De Guzman pointed out that Americans carrying out the annual event is connected with what is going on in the rest of the world, the Philippines included.
“I think this is so similar to what is happening now with regard to abortion. Many people are realizing just now the truth about the evil and injustice of abortion,” she said, adding that the contraceptive mindset spreading among Filipinos is happening “because that is the lie that is being fed to us day in and day out through the mainstream media… and now with the RH law, even in the schools.”
She reiterated that it was up to families to teach the next generation to regard every person as precious and shun the mentality that treats the unborn as mere property, in that “if they’ll do me good, then well and good, but if not, then we just dispose of them….just like [many of them] do with the babies.”
“We intend to establish a new West Coast tradition of celebrating life and we’re calling for solidarity among women and all people of good will in affirming human life,” Walk for Life West Coast states on its website. “Abortion harms women and men; it divides families and society. Women – and all people – deserve better than abortion.” (CBCP for Life)