February 1, 2013
It is a common fantasy of the common man…and woman…finding a way to become invisible, to become the proverbial “fly on the wall” in a room, to witness happenings that would be closed to us, to hear words that would be denied us.
In 1897, H. G. Wells explored this fantasy in his famous novella The Invisible Man, where scientist Griffin finds a way to change a body’s refractive index to that of air. In the same way as air, Griffin’s body reflected no light. He was invisible.
Griffin, the mad scientist, was only able to accomplish his feat through mastery of scientific principles and conducting hours of chemical experiments recorded in three notebooks. But there was an easier way. I know. On January 26, 2013, I became invisible…without performing one scientific trick…sharing my invisibility with a large crowd of nearly 50,000.
On a bright San Francisco morning, blessed with perfect temperatures and clear skies, an estimated 50,000 people congregated at the Civic Center Plaza for the 9th Annual Walk for Life. I had personally invested hundreds of dollars to make myself visible as an American who values the dignity of each human life from conception to natural death. I had hoped to be seen. I wished to be counted.
In the opening greeting to the crowd, the speaker asked those of us at the Walk for the first time to raise our hands. My hand went up. I wanted people to see me…to see us…all of us.
I shared in the mission for the walk: To change the perceptions of a society that thinks abortion is an answer. Abortion does violence to women and to their children, both physically and emotionally. We deserve better than abortion.
I hoped to further the goal of the walk: To be a vocal and visual message that people of the West Coast stand for life. To reach out to women harmed by abortion. To inform society of the damage done to women by abortion.
The crowd was a wonderful mix of people, each one committed to being a voice for life. Fifty thousand of us walked the two miles to the Embarcadero. Another 500,000 marched in Washington, D.C., despite freezing snowy weather.
And for all of the people and all of the opportunities to talk with us and to photograph us, we were largely invisible. My hotel provided guests with free copies of the San Francisco Chronicle. I waited for a copy of the paper with a front page story and photo to take home to my family and friends. I waited. I am still waiting.
How do you make a crowd of 50,000 people invisible? You work for a San Francisco news service so devoted to abortion of babies at any time and for any reason that every person at the paper is willing to close their eyes to the undeniable tens of thousands of people walking through your city.
Thanks to the Internet, I finally located the Chronicle’s story about the crowds at the march. Instead of focusing on the 50,000 people, the reporter and photographer highlighted pro-abortion activists…across the city at Justin Herman Plaza. The lead photo for the story showed two pro-abortion protestors with their bullhorn yelling and waving their bright orange sign: Abortion on Demand and Without Apology. But who were they yelling at? Where were the 50,000 people?
The reporter made obligatory references to the invisible crowd in her story. But it was all packaged in bright colors to tell another story under The Chronicle headline: S. F. abortion rally shows 40-year split. Abortion rally? Clearly, those 50,000 of us attending the Pro-Life rally must have been invisible.
The Chronicle is in good company. Local and national media are loathe to report in any significant way on the growing tide in America that supports human life…all life. It’s OK. I will still pay hundreds to attend the next Walk in 2014 and to be a witness for life.
The best part of walking in 2013 was to share the sidewalks with the impassioned young people who can see the truth, even in a culture that works so hard to make the truth invisible. Life is precious. And the coming generation of young people who are not afraid of the truth will tell the story missed by The Chronicle.
The Chronicle hires the reporters and photographers who refuse to see life. But their failure to tell this story will not prevail. Just ask all of the parents who witness their baby growing in the womb, clearly visible on the 3D and 4D ultrasounds.
Life is precious. Above all, no matter how hard we try, life will tell its own story. Close our eyes, cover our ears…yet through it all…life refuses to be invisible.
Save your pennies. Hitch a ride. Bring your friends. We have a story waiting to be told. Hope to see you with me on the streets in 2014!
For full video and photographic record, with photographer credits, visit the official website: WALK FOR LIFE WEST COAST