Ending abortion has been a central concern of social conservatives since the movement, sometimes called the "Christian Right" or "Religious Right," began in the late 1970's. At the Values Voter Summit this past weekend, adoption was also a common theme linked to the pro-life cause.
Several of the speakers spoke about their personal experience as either an adoptee or adoptive parent. One speaker was the survivor of a botched abortion while another was given up for adoption after his biological mother was raped.
"You can't discuss a pro-life sort of worldview unless it includes, foundationally, adoption as something that is highly promoted. There are two alternatives to abortion: parenthood and adoption. There's only two," Ryan Bomberger told The Christian Post Saturday.
Bomberger was adopted into a family with 15 children (five biological and 10 adopted). His mother decided to give him up for adoption, rather than have an abortion, after she was raped.
"You could say being pro-life is part of my DNA," Bomberger told the audience during his Saturday morning speech to the convention. "My parents are perfect examples of pro-lifers who care about children-after-they are born. They adopted 10 children and loved the mess out of us all. Some of us have bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, small business entrepreneurs, engaged in our communities, engaged in our churches, and all that because purpose was unleashed because of the beautiful loving act of adoption."
Bomberger was also on a panel about abortion Saturday afternoon, which included Melissa Ohden. Ohden's birth mother tried to abort her, but the attempt failed. She is currently featured in a Susan B. Anthony List pro-life ad campaign.
"I grew up in a home where adoption was our normal," Ohden explained. "After I survived, my biological parents gave me the loving gift of an adoptive family. And I am so thankful for that. What I wouldn't give for that to have been the first option. But that wasn't made available to my family. And that's why I fight the fight that I do every day, because adoption is a blessing, not a curse."
Actor Kirk Cameron also mentioned the linkage between adoption and abortion in his Friday speech. After noting that four of his six children are adopted and his wife was adopted, he said, "If it weren't for the young lady that chose to give my wife the gift of life, my two natural born children would not be here either. My whole family is here today because of the gift of life and adoption."
"Adoption is the answer to the abortion crisis. We change only two letters in the word abortion and we get the word adoption and it reflects the heartbeat of God," he added.
The Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of social conservatives, was held Sept. 12-15. Over 2,000 attended. Sponsors included FRC Action, an affiliate of Family Research Council, The Heritage Foundation, Liberty Counsel, American Values, and AFA Action, an affiliate of the American Family Association.