LITTLE ROCK – Hundreds marched to the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock Jan. 19 to “March for Life” – standing up and making public a unified call to end legal abortion in America.
The March for Life was the 42nd annual event of its kind and was hosted by Arkansas Right to Life, a Little Rock-based Pro-life non-profit. Marchers in attendance represented local churches from across the state, holding numerous denominational affiliations including Southern Baptists – members of Antioch Baptist Church, Royal, including the church’s pastor, Bill Carter, are regulars to the annual event and were once again in attendance this year.
“Those who are Pro-life are energized more than ever even after 47 years of legal abortion to be the voice for the voiceless and defend the defenseless and do all that we can to protect mothers and their innocent unborn children from the tragedy of abortion. We will never stop marching until abortion is no more,” Rose Mimms, executive director of Arkansas Right to Life, told the Arkansas Baptist News (ABN).
Numerous Arkansas elected officials and constitutional officers attended the event and were recognized as special guests, including Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, U.S. Sen. John Boozman, U.S. Rep. French Hill and U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman.
“Every year, on or about this date we assemble and we assemble in a sense with a heavy heart, to defend those most innocent and vulnerable lives among us who are made in the image of God, yet not fully protected by the laws of man. And to remember the tens of millions of innocent souls that have perished across the ages,” said Cotton.
“But I’d say we also assemble with a hopeful and grateful heart to see the advances we have made over the last year. Because of your efforts, we’ve won victories on their behalf at our capitols and courthouses. And most importantly, and because of your work, we continue to see a growing recognition among our fellow Americans that those most innocent and most vulnerable are indeed made in the image of God and do indeed deserve the protections of the laws of this land,” Cotton told the crowd.
“I look forward to the March for Life every year because it’s an opportunity to celebrate the sanctity of life with thousands of Arkansans from every corner of our state. All human life is precious and created in the image of God, and we must do everything within our power to make sure the hearts and minds of our fellow Americans and our laws reflect that,” Griffin told the ABN.
Ryan Bomberger, an Emmy-award winning creative professional and co-founder of The Radiance Foundation, which according to the organization’s website, is an “educational, life-affirming, non-profit organization,” was the featured speaker for a brief program following the march.
Bomberger was born to a mother who had been raped and chose to forgo abortion. He was one of 10 adopted children into a loving, multi-racial, Christ-centered family of 15, according to his biography.
He said that in the fight against the “violence of abortion,” it is important to have compassion for those who have had abortions as well as understand the incredible value of adoption as an anecdote to difficult life situations that could otherwise lead women to consider having an abortion.
“We hear the word ‘diversity,’ all the time. And I love diversity. But we miss out on the power of commonality too,” said Bomberger. “To love and be loved is a common sentiment and need that we all have. Growing up in a multi-racial family, one of the most powerful things I learned is that we are one human race.
Bomberger added that, while ethnic differences should be celebrated, “the hue of my skin doesn’t tell you a thing about moral convictions, it doesn’t tell you anything about who I am. … I love that I grew up in a family that understood that our identity is first in Christ – because without that, no other identity matters.”
Rape is often cited in arguments favoring legal abortion, however, Bomberger said, “I’m that one percent (of cases) that’s used 100 percent of the time to justify abortion. … Some say that I should have been aborted. My birth mom experienced the horror and the violence of rape. But yet she still chose life and gave me the incredible gift of adoption. Women are stronger than their circumstances.”
“Abortion is the number one killer in the black community. I love how we hear that ‘black lives matter’ – yes they do matter, in and out of the womb,” said Bomberger. “We are created in the image of God. … That is why we have equal and irrevocable worth.
“What drives me crazy is when you hear people say words like, ‘reproductive justice.’ That’s what they call abortion in the black community – when in places like New York City, for instance, more black babies have been aborted that born alive in decades,” said Bomberger.
“I want encourage you that victory might not seem like it is right in front of you. But you never ever, ever, ever give up,” said Bomberger. “Life has purpose.”
Concluding, Bomberger said that the way to change the culture of death in America is to teach children that abortion is wrong – so that they grow up and become adults that believe abortion is wrong.
Bomberger closed out his remarks by leading the crowd in singing, “Jesus Loves the Little Children.”
Special music during the March for Life program was performed by Doug and Stephanie Goodman of East Union Missionary Baptist Church in Hensley.
Contact Caleb Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Copyright 2019 Arkansas Baptist Newsmagazine, Inc. Use of this article in print or through electronic means a violation of copyright. Request permission to reprint here.