Several hundred people from the Modesto area will travel to San Francisco on Saturday to participate in the ninth annual Walk for Life West Coast, which is held "to change the perceptions of a society that thinks abortion is an answer," according to its website.
The event, which is expected to draw 30,000 to 40,000 people from different faith backgrounds, begins at 10:45 a.m. at the downtown Civic Center Plaza and ends at Justin Herman Plaza. Speakers this year include Elaine Riddick, a black woman born in 1954 to alcoholic parents. She became pregnant after she was raped when she was 13; after giving birth to her son at age 14, she was sterilized by North Carolina's eugenics program.
Kelly Clinger, a backup singer for Britney Spears, is another speaker. She is the spokeswoman for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, a group of post-abortive men and women who share their personal stories about the negative effects of abortion. Actress Jennifer O'Neill, the international spokeswoman for the organization, also will speak.
The Stockton Catholic Diocese plans to send 25 to 30 buses of parishioners to the event, including five from St. Joseph's and three from St. Stanislaus in Modesto, three from Sacred Heart in Turlock and one from Sacred Heart in Patterson.
Participants will gather at 10:45 a.m. at the Civic Center for the talks and for an information fair. A rally and more speakers will be held from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., followed by the two-mile walk.