Anti-abortion protesters traveled from as far away as South Carolina to interrupt a press event in honor of Women’s Equality Day on the steps of City Hall Thursday.
Chanting through megaphones “abortion is murder” and holding up anti-abortion signs, they crashed a speech by District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani.
The scene descended into a shouting match between attendees and protesters, including those from the group Pro-Life San Francisco, with Stefani at one point evoking the lives lost at Uvalde and Sandy Hook and shouting back, “are you pro-life for kids that are dying in their classrooms? I don’t think so!”
The protesters said they were voicing their opposition to California’s Proposition 1, which will be on the ballot in November and would amend the California State Constitution to guarantee reproductive freedoms.
Hayden Laye, an organizer with a group called pro-life LGBTQ+, says they traveled from South Carolina to attend the protest. Laye emphasized that they are a Democrat and sides with the party on most issues, but believes that life begins at fertilization.
Others who were attending the press conference said they were upset about the interruption.
“This wasn’t focused on abortion, it was about getting women registered to vote in the upcoming election. They made it all about abortion,” said Nadia Rahman, co-president of the SF Women’s Political Committee.
Stefani, looking out at the protesters, said they are the reason the nation needs more female leaders.
"One of the reasons we're seeing this is because there are not enough women in office making the rules across this country," she said.
Additional reporting by Sarah Wright.
Michaela Neville can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org