Emily Berning, When my husband and I founded Let Them Live back in 2019, the side of the pro-life movement focused on passing laws and changing policy was ascendant under a pro-life president.
That side of the struggle to save unborn life could be considered the “supply-side.” Its aim is to reign in the groups whose central mission is to make abortion ubiquitous in America, especially when it comes to taxpayer dollars going to those groups. That mission to clamp down on the supply of abortion is important, but even in 2019, I knew there was more that could be done.
We developed a different mission: providing women considering abortion with the help they need to afford motherhood. At the time we saw that not only as decent charity but as a way to attack the human tragedy of abortion from the opposite angle, the demand-side, women in distress who saw abortion as their only choice.
Today – with a new administration dead set on rolling back restrictions on the abortion industry – I see that demand-side approach as the most fruitful avenue left to a movement that has sometimes focused on the supply-side to the exclusion of plain compassion.
The abortion industry always tries to seize the moral high ground by framing every debate around “choice.” They would have us believe that they are more concerned with a woman’s choice than anything else.
What I’ve learned working with women considering abortion is that what abortionists and their mouthpieces in the media and education are offering is no choice at all. Their message is loud and clear to pregnant young women across America: you can get an abortion or you can be destitute and alone. When, as in so many of the cases I’ve dealt with, these women are getting that same message from their children’s fathers, it’s even less of a real choice.
Upward of 70 percent of women surveyed on why they’re having abortions say it’s because they think they can’t afford a child. That is to say that the vast majority of abortions occur because of completely solvable, often short term, financial issues. If we can’t change laws for the time being, we can still kill two birds with one stone and address those issues. We can help women in need and at the same time save the lives of the unborn.
When you show women considering abortion that, contrary to what the abortion industry tries to tell them, they are not alone, that thousands of good people are ready to help them face the challenge of motherhood, their whole outlook changes. The fake “choice” they’ve been presented by selfish boyfriends and assembly line abortion providers fades away, and a real choice becomes clear to them.
They can do this. Being a mom and saving a child from abortion is tough, but it’s a real choice and it’s theirs alone to make.
Unfortunately – with the Biden administration’s recent move to lift restrictions on taxpayer funding for clinics that promote abortion – vulnerable pregnant women are going to hear the old message from the likes of Planned Parenthood a lot louder. That money threatens to drown out organizations like Let Them Live and our message about a real choice. At the same time, it increases the importance that we not be silenced.
I, for one, am not discouraged. I believe we can prove that there is more to being pro-life than politics, more to our love for women and their children than birth, and more to “choice” than abortion. I believe we can change minds, provide women real choice, and save lives in the process.
It will take organization. It will take courage. And it will take generosity, but I’m confident because the pro-life movement, like our country, was founded in a spirit of generosity. If we provide women in need with a real choice, many of them will choose life. If you needed any more proof of that, I would just look at the beautiful babies I’ve seen born because women heard our message, took up our offer of a different choice, and let them live.
Emily Berning is the President and Co-Founder for Let Them Live, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was started because 73% of women abort due to financial burden. Let Them Live is dedicated to helping these women choose life with financial support.