Washington D.C., Jan 26, 2017 / 03:39 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Just one decision can have a major effect on future generations, pro-life activists told a group of young people at the March for Life conference in the nation’s capital on Thursday.
“When you pull one life out of this world, it changes everything,” said Ryan Bomberger, founder of the Radiance Foundation. The Radiance Foundation is a “faith-based, life-affirming organization to help people understand and embrace their God-given Purpose.” Bomberger, a black pro-life activist who has brought attention to abortion’s “disproportionate impact in the black community,” delivered the keynote speech at the 2017 March for Life Conference in Washington, D.C., the day before Friday’s march.
Bomberger was conceived in rape. His mother chose to bear him, and his foster parents adopted him along with nine other children into their family of 15. “This is my family. This is the result of the power of one,” Bomberger said, citing the theme of the 2017 march. That theme — “the power of one” — is in part drawn from the movie “The Fellowship of the Ring,” from the quote “even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”
It also was meant to draw attention to the actions of one man, Rep. Henry Hyde, who successfully worked to pass an amendment banning the use of federal Medicaid dollars to directly fund abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at stake. The policy, 40 years old, has been estimated to have saved over 2 million lives that otherwise may have been aborted. This week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that would make the Hyde Amendment permanent, rather than requiring that it to be attached as an amendment on an appropriations bill, which needs new approval each year.
Bomberger used the march’s theme to point to the “power” of one person making one decision to choose life, and the effect that has upon the future.
“It was one singular decision of my courageous birth mom,” he recalled, noting that “someone had to have spoken life into her” since she “could have gotten a therapeutic abortion” instead. As for his adoptive mother, Bomberger said that she grew up in a “very rough home” and spent a year in a children’s home when her parents separated. At five years old, she noticed another disabled girl in the home who had no visitors.
“That so profoundly impacted a five year-old girl,” Bomberger said, that she prayed one night “God help me be a mommy to those who don’t have one.” “Obviously, she followed through, as you can see,” he said, referencing a picture of his extended family which is 62 persons strong through three generations.
“Adoption isn’t just something that transforms the child. It transforms the family, it transforms the community, and sometimes, it even transforms the world,” he said. “My family gave me love, and God gave me purpose,” he said. “My life has purpose…my children’s lives have purpose.”
A panel following Bomberger’s speech echoed the theme of “the power of one.” Dr. Jeff Pauls of the Vitae Foundation, which conducts “right-brain research” of pregnancy centers and Planned Parenthood for the pro-life cause, said that according to research, “the vast majority of women who have chosen abortion would not have done so if just one person would have supported them.” “You be the one,” he told the audience. “If you have somebody that comes up to you, tell them ‘you can do this, and I will help,’” and then “follow that up” through action.
Amy Ford, founder of the group “Embrace Grace” which helps churches minister to and help young mothers who experience unplanned pregnancies, recalled the story of one mother whose life changed after just one encounter with a stranger. The young girl, who was unmarried and pregnant, had been told by her father that she would “be a horrible mother” and should have an abortion or give the baby up for adoption.
However, in an answer to prayer, she met a complete stranger who directed her to others who could help her. Ford recalled the girl’s words: “My dad said that he thought I would be a horrible mom, but that guy at the UPS store said he thought I would be a good mom.” Just one person changed her life, Ford said. “We have to be the light of the world,” she said, “and we have to be that to every person that we meet.”