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Official's calls to remove pro-life march banners seen as censorship
Catholic News Service

SAN FRANCISCO — Banners displayed on light posts to promote the Jan. 25 pro-life march in San Francisco received the proper permitting from the city and calls for the signs' removal are ridiculous, said a leader of the event.

David Campos of the Board of Supervisors introduced a resolution Jan. 14 opposing the banners posted along Market Street to promote the 10th annual Walk for Life West Coast.

The flags, a common sight in many a city to announce various festivals and civic events, carry the slogan "Abortion hurts women," and announce the date and place for the march, along with the event's website, www.walkforlifewc.com.

Campos contended the message on the banners "isn't true."

"Not only is abortion one of the safest medical procedures in the United States, but denied, abortion care is what hurts women," he was quoted as saying.

He called for a review of the city's process of granting permits for banners and his resolution claimed the march organization violated various city regulations, including "an accurate date for a related event." But photos of the banners clearly show "January 25" as the date.

Eva Muntean, the march's co-chair, told KCBS Radio Jan. 15 that her organization properly obtained a permit and met all the criteria for banners laid out by the city's Department of Public Works, which issues the permits for such signage.

"Physically and psychologically, families are hurt by abortion. I welcome them (critics of the signs) to come and to listen to these talks and just find out exactly first hand from people that have abortion, how it has hurt them," she said in the KCBS interview.

San Francisco is known as "a tolerant city," she said, but efforts to censor the signs shows such tolerance doesn't cover different viewpoints.

"We certainly welcome all San Franciscans to attend the Walk for Life West Coast and to listen to post-abortive women share their stories. Decide for yourself whether what you are hearing is 'hate speech,'" she said.

In an earlier interview about the march itself, Muntean told Catholic San Francisco, the archdiocesan newspaper: "The pro-life spirit is truly alive in San Francisco and the Walk for Life West Coast continues to be a wonderful way for those who care about women and their babies, born and unborn, to show that life is the only choice."

Last year's Walk for Life West Coast drew more than 50,000 participants, and organizers expected a bigger crowd for 2014.

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