Abortion-rights supporters gather for a rally and march in front of the SF Public Library, across the street from the anti-abortion-rights Walk for Life West Coast rally, on Jan. 21, 2023. (Lakshmi Sarah/KQED)
Activists on both sides of the abortion-rights issue held events in San Francisco on Saturday, the day before what would have been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision granting pregnant people the constitutional right to end a pregnancy — a right that was overturned in 2022 with the Supreme Court's Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling, leaving the regulation of all aspects of the abortion issue up to individual states.
The anti-abortion Walk for Life West Coast organization held its annual rally and march at 12:30 p.m. at Civic Center Plaza at 335 McAllister Street, after which they walked along Market Street to Embarcadero Plaza at Market and Steuart streets.
Meanwhile, more than a dozen groups came together for another march led by the National Mobilization for Reproductive Justice-SF, rallying at 11:30 a.m. at the Phillip Burton Federal Building at 450 Golden Gate Ave. before making their way down Larkin Street to Civic Center for the counterprotest. Participants of the counterprotest included the Freedom Socialist Party, the Raging Grannies, Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights Bay Area and the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Francisco.
Mainly in response to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe, California lawmakers have passed a slew of safeguards for abortion access, as well as putting a constitutional amendment on the November ballot, Proposition 1, which was backed by Gov. Gavin Newsom and overwhelmingly approved by voters on Nov. 8.