By: Ryan Bomberger and Jeanne Monahan
Pro-life billboards across the nation are igniting controversy by providing data about the alarmingly disproportionate numbers of African-American babies aborted each year. Interestingly, most of the billboards are simply communicating undisputed facts gathered by government health agencies: TooManyAborted.com, one of the groups launching the billboard campaigns, presents comprehensive abortion statistics that federal and state agencies have compiled.
Despite that, these billboards have sparked fierce outrage and censorship demands from abortion proponents, often within hours of installation, although only one billboard has been removed as a result of their threats and opposition. Given that the data is accurate and undisputed, the real problem is that the information being conveyed is shocking and difficult to accept.
Recently, a billboard in Chicago went up with a picture of President Obama that reads: “Every 21 Minutes Our Next Possible Leader Is Aborted.” This follows more than 200 billboards declaring: “Black Children Are an Endangered Species” and “Black and Beautiful” that have appeared in Georgia, Texas, California, Arkansas and Wisconsin from The Radiance Foundation and its unrelated TooManyAborted.com campaign.
Black babies in the United States are aborted at three times the rate of white babies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 45 percent of preborn black babies were aborted in the United States in 2007 (the most recent year for which federal statistics are available). By comparison, the same report shows that approximately 16 percent of white babies were aborted in 2007 in the U.S.
In some urban areas, the number is much higher. In New York City, 60 percent of all black pregnancies ended in abortion in 2009, according to the city’s health department.
The startling reality is that, in some places in the U.S., a black baby is more likely to be aborted than to be born, tragically reinforcing the “Endangered Species” campaign messaging.
Even the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion think tank originally founded as the research arm of Planned Parenthood, reports that blacks account for 30 percent of all nationwide abortions—although the U.S. Census reports that they make up only 13 percent of the population. In contrast, non-Hispanic whites comprise 36 percent of all abortions, despite making up more than 65 percent of the population.
Thankfully, like President Obama, one of the authors of this opinion piece defied the abortion odds. The Radiance Foundation’s cofounder, Ryan Bomberger, is half black and half white. Ryan’s biological mother (who had been raped) had every reason, according to popular abortion rhetoric, to choose abortion. But she chose life.
In doing so, she not only gave Ryan birth, but also enabled him to become an adoptee, an adoptive father, a college graduate with bachelor’s and master’s degrees, a successful business entrepreneur, a mentor to hundreds of youth, a husband to a beautiful wife and a dad to four amazing children. Ryan has lived the American dream. Now he is working to help other “Ryans” have this same opportunity for life and to better their world.
President Obama, too, was born of a pregnancy that many abortion advocates would say merited termination. They would have insisted his mother think of herself and not subject her child to the inevitable difficulties of single parenthood and a presumed outcome of misery. Yet Mr. Obama embodies the very same realization of possibility as Ryan and millions of other children born into challenging circumstances.
The statistics are staggering, but it is critical to remember the real people that each number represents. Some beat the odds: Barack Obama. Oprah Winfrey. Colin Powell. Ironically, any of these individuals could be featured on the same Chicago billboard.
Abortion has decimated the black community, destroying more than 14 million lives full of hope and possibility since 1973. Fervent “pro-choice” advocacy results in the deaths of so many lives. Yet pro-life women who become unexpectedly pregnant and keep their babies offer millions of “unplanned” children the prospect of love that can then be poured out to others.
These billboards, while clearly anathema to abortion proponents, are educating Americans about the stark reality of abortion within the black community. We should all be profoundly concerned about this human-rights injustice.
The abortion epidemic can no longer be ignored. This untold story is now being told. It must compel us toward proactive life-affirming policies, such as supporting local pregnancy-resource centers that help mothers who are facing unplanned pregnancies. In this way, we will all enable every potential future president the most basic right: life.
This op-ed piece originally appeared in the National Catholic Register and has been reprinted with permission. The original can be found at http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/more-likely-to-be-aborted-than-to-be-born/.
Ryan Scott Bomberger is the Chief Creative Officer and the cofounder (along with his wife, Bethany) of The Radiance Foundation—a life-affirming nonprofit organization. He is an Emmy Award-winning creative director who has caused a media frenzy with his pro-life, pro-adoption themed TooManyAborted.com ad campaigns. His own adoption story, as an adoptee and adoptive father, inspires the media initiatives and community outreach of The Radiance Foundation. Ryan speaks to diverse audiences nationwide, sharing the beauty and power of possibility. He resides in metro Atlanta with his amazing wife and four children.
Jeanne Monahan is the director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council. She researches, writes and speaks on the culture of life, with a focus on the sanctity of human personhood from biological beginning until natural death. Jeanne has worked for the Catholic Church in a variety of positions educating others on life issues, human sexuality, marriage and family. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology from James Madison University and a master’s degree in the theology of marriage and family from the Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.
American Life League profiled Ryan Bomberger in a story in the March-April issue of Celebrate Life Magazine entitled, “Irrefutable witnesses: Pro-life witnesses conceived through rape.” This will be available online soon at http://www.clmagazine.org/nav/index/heading/MjU/.