Thousands Gather in San Francisco for 'Walk For Life' Anti-Abortion Rally

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in San Francisco Saturday for an anti-abortion march and rally, and it's affecting traffic in the city. NBC Bay Area's Monte Francis reports from San Francisco. (Published Saturday, Jan 25, 2014)

    Tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in San Francisco Saturday for an anti-abortion march and rally.

    This is the 10th year for the Walk for Life West Coast, and although the event is over, it continues to have an impact on traffic in-and-out of the city Saturday night.

    When the event finished Saturday afternoon, traffic along the Embarcadero was sluggish, and marchers were making their way back to buses parked past AT&T Park.

    Early Saturday, a massive crowd gathered at Civic Center Plaza for an anti-abortion rally before marching down Market Street to Justin Herman Plaza.

    Many of the protesters were bused in from other parts of the state, and many churches from the Central Valley came from Turlock, Fresno, and even some from Southern California.

    RELATED: Supreme Court Won't Block Strict Texas Abortion Law

    A much smaller group of about 100 pro-choice demonstrators gathered at Powell and Market streets, and the demonstrators remained peaceful on both sides.

    Many marchers said San Francisco is the perfect place for such a rally because of its well-known liberal politics.

    "This is a tradition," demonstrator Nancy Shanafelt said. "I can’t stop. We have to save babies."

    "We are here to teach our kids that life is important and that abortion should not be done," another demonstrator said.

    Traffic continued to be slow near Union Square, and on Market Street and Van Ness Avenue, Saturday evening. Those planning to drive into San Francisco Saturday night are told to be aware of heavy traffic.

    Last year, organizers estimated there were 50,000 people at the march.

    There is no official count yet for this year, but organizers expected this year’s crowd to be at least that large.