Ron DiCianni – renowned artist and abortion survivor – campaigns for life

Ron DiCianni's painting "Before I Formed You"

Ron DiCianni’s painting “Before I Formed You”

Ron DiCianni is known for his beautiful and inspired paintings, including Spiritual Warfare, In the Wilderness and Praying for Peace. Based on Jeremiah 1:5, his latest painting, Before I Formed You, is a celebration of life and shows God’s design behind each unborn child from the moment of conception, life is sacred.

The painting was crafted by the hands of DiCianni, himself an abortion survivor, to visually showcase that each life is precious to the Creator.

Along with his son Grant, DiCianni formed The Before I Formed You Foundation, a nonprofit organization, with a mission to send a copy of this painting to every Crisis Pregnancy Center, Abortion Clinic, Planned Parenthood center, Legislator and OB/GYN in the nation.

During a recent interview, DiCianni spoke about his mother’s story and his campaign to battle abortion.

Paula K. Parker: Tell me about your mother’s story.

Ron DiCianni: Even as a little child, my mom told me the story of how, when she was pregnant with me, she’d decided to have an abortion.

You know, the interesting thing is that she never told me why and I never asked. It was 1951; she was living in Chicago in a very poor neighborhood. My dad, my mom, my grandmother, my aunt and my brother lived in a small apartment. While not an invalid, my grandmother was sick and needed help.

I have to assume my mom said, ‘This is all I can handle.’ and from a human standpoint, she was absolutely right.

I do not know if my dad knew about it, because he didn’t go with her. I don’t know that anybody else knew about it; except God.

She went to the doctor’s office to have my life ended and one of the nurses told her, “We’re going to start this procedure with an injection.”

She told me, “As the needle came within an inch of my arm, I heard the audible voice of God say, ‘Don’t do this; I have a plan for this baby.’”

She pushed the needle away, got up, put her coat on and went home. In doing so, she gave me the chance to live.

If you look at Psalm 139 – which is one of my stalwart verses for what I believe and what I know to be true – David said, “All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” I don’t know what that does for you, but that sends chills up my spine.

God looked down the road and saw the plan He had for me – which is frankly one of the most humbling things. He said, “I’m going to use this baby to impact this visual generation coming up in a mighty way.”  I get letters and email from all around the world, telling me how my work has impacted people.

So, the question has to be asked; how many babies might God have sent into our world with an enormous plan? Maybe it was the cure for cancer. Maybe it was healing for the nations. Maybe it was something we don’t even realize we need yet. But we killed that baby. So all the days ordained for them were stopped because we said, “This is inconvenient.”

I was on a show with Ray Comfort, of Living Waters Ministry. A great evangelist, he and Kirk Cameron have a great ministry together. I was on his program and, while we were talking about this horrific thing called abortion, one of the co-hosts said, “Hey, did you read in the news today how a lady threw her baby in a dumpster? Can you imagine how difficult her circumstances must have been?”

Ray said, “Hold on. She didn’t throw her baby in a dumpster because life was hard. She threw her baby in a dumpster because she had no sanctity for life.”

I’ve had many interviews and speaking engagements and people come up to me and tell me that they disagree with what I have to say about not holding life sacred, and talk about how it’s not a baby until it comes out of the womb. These are twisted lies of the Enemy to feel like we could mold our lives. Who cares what God thinks and what God does?

I talk with people who run crisis pregnancy centers, who tell me that they have women coming to them who are on their seventeenth abortion. Seventeenth abortion! Now realizing that an abortion takes place every 64th second in the United States should make the hair crawl on the back of our necks. Instead, we’ve come to view it like kids smoking or doing drugs. We say, “Yeah, that’s the way people live today.” Have we become so hard that this no longer looks like a travesty?

We’ll hear on the news about people being killed, whether it’s through accidents or gunshots or plane crashes; but you won’t hear about the many women who’ve gone into an abortion clinic today and had the life inside them terminated. You won’t hear about that, because it’s old news.

PKP: Tell me about the painting Before I Knew You and your foundation.

Ron DiCianni: For many years, people who knew my story would say, “Could you paint something that shows the horror of abortion; like dismembered babies and blood dripping from them?”

I would say, “No! Nobody’s going to hang up a picture like that.”

Grant and I set up the Before I Knew You Foundation. We want to impact mothers-to-be long before they find themselves confronted with the decision for abortion.

There are several things people can do.

  1. Pray. We need prayer support desperately here at Before I Formed You. We need people who will honestly shake themselves out of the doldrums and stop thinking of abortion as just another alternative life has for us, and get on their knees and ask the Holy Spirit to convict people’s hearts that life is sacred. From the moment of conception, to the moment of delivery and afterwards; life is sacred. We need that more than anything.
  2. Sponsor a print. Go can go to our website www.formedyou.com. It costs us $40 to send a print out; for that amount, you get a copy of the print, a DVD of Ray Comfort’s 180 movie – which may be the most powerful anti-abortion/pro-life video you’ll ever see. You’ll get a signed letter from me, as the artist. You’ll get direct shipping to the recipient. Let’s say you know a pregnant girl who is struggling; you can have this sent right to her home and it’s $40. I can’t tell you of the letters we’ve gotten, where women say, “I was about to have an abortion and saw your painting and decided not to. To God be the glory!” We are also trying to send a print to every abortion provider a print. If you donate $40, we’ll send a copy to the doctors and abortion providers.
  3. Get your church involved. If they want, I will come and speak to their church. We’ll send this print out to as many people as the church wants. Maybe the church needs it in their nursery or the hallway. You don’t know the people who are walking over the threshold of our churches who may be wrestling with the thought of abortion.
  4. Give. Maybe you are someone whom God has blessed with a lot of money; we call those people patrons or donors. Just as I am responsible to use my gift of painting, someone that God has given a lot of money to is responsible to use that money wisely. We don’t have them now, but if we had major donors to help us, we could get a public relations blitz on television, we could get prints to the abortion providers, to every pregnancy resource center.

In case someone is saying, ‘You guys are just trying to make money.’ Not one penny comes to me as the artist. I didn’t get paid for doing the painting. The money that comes into the Before I Formed You Foundation goes right back out to send a print where it needs to go.

We are not making any money from this. This is something we consider parallel to Hitler’s Holocaust. If you realize that, around the world every day there are 115,000 abortions, how dare we turn a blind eye and use our money frivolously?

Already in this very short amount of time since the Before I Formed You Foundation has been in existence, we’ve touched over 100,000 lives, of which we’ve received letter and email responses that said the painting made a difference.

If it sounds like I’m begging, I’m not too proud to say…I am begging for us to do something for life.

If you want to buy a print for your family, tapestryproductions.com. If you want to sponsor a print, go to www.formedyou.com.

 PKP: Last words?

 Ron DiCianni: I do not to heap guilt on anybody on those who’ve had abortions. God is a God of restoration. I got an email from a lady yesterday who said, “I heard you speak in a church. I didn’t come up to you afterwards, but I wanted you to know that you impacted me. I had an abortion years ago and I want to sponsor a print now so that somebody else won’t make the same mistake that I did.”

There’s no guilt – that is not what we are talking about. You don’t need to worry about your baby; God has your baby in His arms. However, go forward; maybe you can help us stop somebody else from making the mistake you did. You can be an agent of change.