Rory Fitzgerald talks to Ryan Bomberger, the Emmy Award-winning designer highlighting the impact of abortion on black Americans
Ryan Bomberger knows only a little about his natural mother: “I know that, tragically, she was raped,” he says, “and that even though she had access to abortion because of that she chose life.”
He continues: “The social worker described my mother as angry. She had never intended to see me after birth, but then she asked to hold me. The social worker said that there was a noticeable change in her countenance after that.
“I’m glad she chose life and gave me the opportunity to be adopted by an amazing multi-racial Christian family of 15. I had an amazing life growing up on a farm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. There was never a dull moment. Never a quiet moment either!”
From such inauspicious beginnings, Ryan has gone on to become an Emmy Award-winning creative director. More recently, he has applied his media savvy to designing the Too Many Aborted pro-life campaign, which gained massive media coverage across America, from the New York Times to CNN to ABC News. This enabled Ryan’s personal story to reach millions, along with the pro-life message of the Radiance Foundation, which he co-founded with his wife, Bethany.
In the United States, race and abortion are deeply sensitive topics. Yet Ryan did not shy away from addressing the racial aspects of American abortion. Black women comprise 13 per cent of the American female population, but account for 30 per cent of abortions. Ryan says that in places like New York City, rates of abortion among black women are up to five times higher among than white people, and some 60 per cent of black pregnancies are aborted.
“The Too Many Aborted campaign came out of a need to explore the disproportionate impact of abortion on black and bi-racial children,” he explains. “If you mix race and abortion you get the kind of incredible media response that we got.”
But Ryan says that the “overwhelmingly pro-choice media” tried to distract from the real issues, implying that the campaign was “racist” and “taking the angle that it was a Right-wing organisation run by white conservative males, which explains why most of them didn’t want to interview me”.
He says that his presence as a black man who was nearly a victim of abortion himself was conveniently airbrushed out by most of the US media.
The campaign was also accused of “misogyny” and of being a political effort to divide the black community.
“Those charges are ludicrous,” Ryan says. “But that’s what you get, because they cannot contest the statistics or the documented history of the abortion industry.”
Ryan argues that the original abortion advocates like Margaret Sanger and Marie Stopes were racists and eugenicists. “But that gets excused somehow. Many of those involved [in the abortion industry] today don’t even understand that these are their ideological foundations. Look at the core components of the movement: eugenics, racism, classism, concern about overpopulation and hatred of organised religion. These are all the same components that still exist today. It has nothing to do with women’s health and everything to do with population control and which parts of the population are worthy of life and which ones aren’t.”
But, he says, abortion advocates seek to present these facts in exactly the opposite way. “They have realised the power of marketing,” he says. “The use of a few buzzwords has changed the political and moral landscape of our country.”
He is saddened that the pro-life movement has been comparatively ineffective at communication, often failing to use the power of marketing and advertising to express truth. “We live in a society where people have a two-second attention span and you don’t have time to compete for someone’s attention.”
This is why Ryan felt the need to use his knowledge of communications and the media to assist the pro-life cause. His campaigns make wide use of the internet, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. He says that use of the internet is crucial to circumvent an “overwhelmingly pro-choice mainstream media”. He calls the ideological outlook of the media “a huge barrier”, citing how reporters “will often ignore over 300,000 people attending the March for Life in Washington, DC, but will extensively cover comparatively tiny pro-choice protests”.
The Too Many Aborted campaign featured pictures of black babies next to phrases like “the 13th Amendment freed us” and “abortion enslaves us”, thereby making an emotive link to America’s “original sin” of slavery. Another poster reads: “Every 21 minutes our next possible leader is aborted.” This advert features a picture of President Obama.
While moved by “the principle of a black president”, Ryan does not welcome Obama’s presidency due to “the ideological positions he holds”. Yet, for him, Obama remains “the tangible realisation of possibility”.
“I look at him and see the son of a single mother who struggled through a lot of her life,” he says. “He is the sort of person whose life is often written off through abortion, and yet he is pro-choice and pro-abortion. That is truly tragic.
“Also, when you consider that black Americans weren’t even considered Americans until the 14th Amendment, it’s bizarre to see how our first black President can say that this group of people [the unborn] aren’t human enough either. To me, it’s tragic.”
Ryan believes that there remains a “huge eugenic component” in the pro-abortion movement today. He makes the striking point that the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide actually defines genocide as “imposing measures intended to prevent births” within a racial group. “That is clearly what abortion does in the United States,” he says, “right back to ‘the Negro Project’ in 1939, which effectively continues today. Genocide is clearly happening. Human rights groups are ignoring the most egregious injustice today.”
He says that pro-abortion policies are usually pursued by an elite who invariably claim to be on the side of women, black people and the defenceless. Yet as well as disproportionately affecting black people, abortion has resulted in millions of missing women in China and India due to the selective abortion of girls.
“Not only is it clear that the gendercide is happening, but certain human rights and abortion groups never come to their defence,” Ryan says. Therefore, “they can’t deal with the repercussions of this” which, he says, include the human trafficking of vulnerable women.
Ryan says that some American pro-abortion groups have even remained silent even in the face of crimes recently uncovered by a Grand Jury in Philadelphia, where an abortionist, Dr Kermit Gosnell, ran a clinic where women died. “He butchered children.
He punctured their necks with scissors. He cut babies’ feet off and put them in jars. He did this for well over 15 years, completely unscathed.”
A worker at the clinic recently pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree murder. The clinic was not inspected as city officials felt inspections were “putting a barrier up to women”.
“That’s the position they take all the time,” Ryan says, “because abortion is a sacrosanct act for them and they will defend it no matter the cost.”
But he does sense the tide turning in the US, because the younger generation of Americans is more pro-life than the older one. He feels that this is because the internet enables them to circumvent a pro-choice media and academia.
“We can measure the change from the thousands of emails we get from people explaining how they have shifted their position. It’s amazing how many hearts we have been able to reach.
I think there is going to be a monumental shift because the pro-abortion side does not have biology to back it up. The idea that life begins at conception is Biology 101.”
Ryan believes that technology will also help to turn the tide through the advent of 3D ultrasounds, which help women to see the reality of a baby in their womb, living and moving. Ryan says that the scans scare Planned Parenthood, America’s biggest abortion provider, to death.
“That’s why they fight against any legislation that suggests a woman should have even the option of an ultrasound. They fear a visual representation of what they profit from the destruction of. We know from pregnancy care centres that women overwhelmingly change their minds when they get a window into the womb.”
He adds: “I see scanning becoming more widely available as the cost of such technology comes down. It’s having an incredible impact in allowing women to see truth. Truth: that’s all it is. There’s no way to contest that. There’s no way you can see the beautiful little arms and legs and head and say: ‘Oh, it’s just a blob of tissue.’ Technology means you can’t get away with that.”