It should not happen, but it does. It is estimated anywhere from 40% to 73% of women end the life of their child because of financial reasons. They are short on rent. They cannot afford daycare. The food they have for their family is already just enough. The pressure to abort builds from the inside and from outside influences and they make that appointment at the clinic. A day they will never forget and many will regret for the rest of their lives. But what if we could alleviate those financial burdens? Take away the driving force behind this deadly act? That is what Emily and Nathan Berning began to think.
“Everything I tried to do outside of the pro-life movement really didn't seem to fit and I knew that so many women and children needed the help I could bring,” said Emily. “There was a large untapped niche in the pro-life movement of financially supporting women in crisis pregnancies.”
So in October of 2017, the married team created Let Them Live. The nonprofit, based out of Indiana, helps women all over the country who are experiencing a crisis pregnancy and are abortion-minded. Their goal is simple: save as many babies as possible.
“We want to end abortion by meeting the needs of the mother in the crisis pregnancy,” Emily explains. “We aspire to be like Osakr Schindler (and even exceed what he did) who saved the lives of 1200 Jews during the Holocaust. So far we have helped 23 women cancel their abortions in the last 10 months and we are looking forward to making that number even larger next year!”
Let Them Live is sort of the ambulance of crisis pregnancies. They start by identifying and connecting with abortion-minded women. Next, they immediately provide support the mothers need to cancel their abortion and successfully carry their pregnancy to term. The help doesn’t stop there, though. They continue to connect or provide them with the resources to help them care for themselves and their child after birth. One way they do that is by raising funds for the families. Depending on the mother’s needs, Let Them Live raises an average of $5,000 from hundreds of generous donors. They provide assistance with rent, utilities, and groceries, giving direct payment to the company, landlord, or store. They also provide a full baby registry for the moms, making sure their babies have everything they need.
“We never want to leave the moms we help high and dry so we also connect them with local resources, jobs, and financial literacy classes to ensure their future success,” she added.
The women come to them mostly through referrals, women like Atoria.
It was through the 40 Days For Life organization that Atoria heard about Let Them Live. When she reached out to Emily and Nathan she was in a dark place. Soon after she found out she was pregnant, her hours at work were cut, the father of the baby abandoned her, and her living situation changed dramatically, causing her to spend nights sleeping in her car.
“I didn’t know how I would be able to pay my bills, rent, and bring a baby into the situation,” she explains. “I couldn’t really see past my current situation and felt my stability was crumbling. Based upon those circumstances I decided that an abortion was the only solution. I really did not feel comfortable with that decision but I had spent the days leading up to my appointment trying to justify my reasoning and convince myself that essentially I just had to do it.”
After reaching out to Nathan and Emily, the couple began working together to help give Atoria hope for the future. They immediately sent her a gift card to a food store so she could get some essentials.
“I was just a day or two away from my abortion appointment and that simple offer of help was enough to provide me the strength to believe that things could better,” Atoria said.
Let Them Live assured Atoria they would continue to support her in any way possible to make sure she was in a good place before her baby was born...even flying out from Indiana to where Atoria lived in California.
“The fact that they were coming all the way from Indiana at a moments’ notice just to help me absolutely blew me away and warmed my heart...” she said. “Aside from the financial assistance they have compassionately provided, they have also provided me with a new family full of support, love, realness, humor, understanding, relatability, and strength. I can finally breathe.”
Atoria’s baby boy is due March 1, 2020. Another life saved.
Save the child, empower the mother, then repeat.
“We can’t help women cancel their abortions by condemning them or just telling them that abortion is bad,” said Co-Founder and Executive Director, Nathan.”We are going to help women choose life by showing them a better way and helping them along that way.”
To find out more information about how you can help Let Them Live please visit their website. Besides specific women’s needs you can help with, they have a general crisis pregnancy fund you can donate to, as well as an online store where the book Shout Your Abortion Too: Stories of Regret is available. You can also follow their work and the stories of the women they help on their official Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.
Photo credit: HDI would like to thank Let Them Live for letting us use the photo of Emily, Nathan, and Atoria in the body of our article.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.