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Two days ago, the annual West Coast March for Life took place in downtown San Francisco, with more than 30,000 people waving “I AM the PRO-LIFE GENERATION” signs as they filed into Civic Center Plaza. A local news story covered the event, which was peaceful and solemn, in part because “the Walk for Life organizers publicized a code of conduct for participants, advising them to never speak to, look at, stare at, threaten or get close to protesters.”

The story notes that the march collected a hundred or so “abortion rights supporters,” but our contributor Stephen Schwartz tells me that he participated in the march and had a hard time spotting more than a few dozen of them. While the story note that the pro-choice bystanders brandished signs saying “Abortion on demand and without apology” and “Stop the war on women,” Schwartz heard another slogan, this one chanted by a small group on the parade route.

“Save the Earth, Don’t Give Birth!”

I hadn’t heard that one before, but if you Google it, adding quotation marks, 475 results come up. The top sites indicate that the slogan comes from the environmental movement, not the pro-choice movement. The goal is to slow and reverse human overpopulation so that endangered species can survive. One group distributes condoms with catchy exhortations such as “Wrap with care, save the polar bear.”

Here’s an iconic image that generalizes the point: 

It takes only a small step to align this environmentalist goal with termination.

Mark Bauerlein is senior editor of First Things.

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