At the Family Research Council’s 2012 Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., where he was a featured speaker, Ryan Bomberger opened his remarks by saying “I’m as Black as Obama.” He explained that his biological mother was raped, became pregnant, chose to carry him to term, and put him up for adoption. He was accepted into a large family with White parents and other multicultural, multiracial adoptee brothers and sisters.1
Bomberger and his wife, Bethany, cofounded The Radiance Foundation in Atlanta, GA, in 2009. They both earned graduate degrees from Pat Robertson’s Regent University, and Ryan was Regent’s alumnus of the year in 2012. The Radiance Foundation is now based in Virginia Beach, VA, where Regent University is located.
Bomberger, who earned an MA in communications, is the “chief creative officer” at Radiance. His use of social media is highly sophisticated, and Radiance’s interactive website is rich with video shorts. The organization’s self-described mission is to “illuminate the intrinsic value each person possesses” through “creative ad campaigns, powerful multi-media presentations, and compassionate community outreach.”2
Bomberger has worked on a number of initiatives, including the notorious “Too Many Aborted” billboard campaign. Launched in Atlanta in 2010, the billboards juxtaposed images of African-American babies or toddlers with inflammatory statements. One compared abortion with the African genocide of the transatlantic slave trade. The campaign was endorsed by several national African-American antichoice leaders, including Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and director of African-American outreach at Priests for Life.3
“Too Many Aborted” was funded by Georgia Right to Life, a prominent antichoice institution with more than 30 chapters throughout the state. Registered as a 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organization, it pursues public education and outreach activities while also conducting substantial legislative work, including lobbying the Georgia state legislature and endorsing candidates.
Since conceptualizing the billboards, Bomberger has turned to creating ads that promote transracial adoption. One of his recent media campaigns, “Turn the Unplanned into a Loving Plan,” is a collaborative effort with the RealOptions Medical Pregnancy Clinics of California and Bethany Christian Services.4 The latter is an international adoption agency with reported revenue of more than $82 million in 2012.
The public service announcement they collaboratively produced shows images of White parents and a cast of multiracial children, reflecting the antichoice movement’s effort to broaden its appeal by highlighting diversity. Bomberger, through his personal story and his media savvy, is becoming an increasingly vital contributor to that goal.
- “Ryan Bomberger speaks at Values Voter Summit 2012,” YouTube, Feb. 18, 2013, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZW5tVQBFkA.
- “Our Vision and Mission,” The Radiance Foundation, http://www.theradiancefoundation.org/our-story/our-vision-mission.
- Penny Starr, Ryan Scott Bomberger, “A Rape Victim’s Child Speaks Up for Right to Life,” Catholic Online, Nov. 12, 2011, http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=43637.
- “Turn the Unplanned Into a Loving Plan,” The Radiance Foundation, http://www.theradiancefoundation.org/turn-the-unplanned-into-a-loving-plan.