Interview With Let Them Live Co-Founder Emily Berning
By Katie Doryland
Throughout the month of March, we are focusing on women of pro-life. From female CEOs who run pro-life organizations, to women who use their voice to stand up for other women.
We recently sat down to talk with Emily Berning, founder and CEO of Let Them Live, about what it is like to be a woman running a pro-life organization, and why it is important to have women standing for life. Let Them Live is a nonprofit organization that helps save women from abortion by providing them with financial assistance.
Tell us about Let Them Live.
Let Them Live started because my husband, Nathan, and I found that 73 percent of women have abortions because of a financial burden. We realized we can provide financial support for these women facing an abortion decision and help them cancel those appointments.
If we can figure out why women have abortions and then figure out how to relieve that burden, then 100 percent of those abortions can be preventable. That is what Let Them Live does- provide the financial support they need so that they can cancel their abortions.
What made you decide to start Let them Live?
We got the idea for Let Them Live in 2018 after we had gotten married. As Nathan was scrolling through pro-life groups on Facebook one night, he saw a young lady commenting on a post. She said that her cousin had an abortion appointment scheduled. The young woman was asking for advice because she didn’t want her cousin to have the abortion, but wasn’t sure how to help.
Nathan messaged her privately and asked her why her cousin was planning to get an abortion. The young woman told her it was because of financial struggles. Nathan said to me, “this girl has an abortion scheduled and needs some financial help; can we help her?”
We ended up giving the young woman $1,200– all the money we had in our account. Doing this made us realize that there must be more women facing the same problem, but we knew we couldn’t do it on our own. We needed to see if others would donate to help more women.
We ended up canceling that abortion. We quit our jobs and are now doing Let Them Live 100 percent.
What keeps you both going?
A few months later, we solidified the mission. Nathan and I were watching Schindler’s List. Toward the end of the movie, Oscar Schindler had bought and saved over 1,000 Jews from the Nazis, he was gifted a ring. There was an inscription on the inside of the ring that said: “Whoever saves one life saves the world entire”.
Watching that, it really hit us that even if you save just one life, the whole world is changed forever.
What is it like to run a pro-life organization? Do you have advice for other women wanting to get involved in the pro-life movement?
Running a pro-life organization is amazing, but it also comes with its challenges. My background is in biology, so it has been a learning experience for me.
Running a nonprofit is similar to running any normal business. My husband brings social media knowledge and marketing. There are other things I have experience in. We have a great team of people who are talented in other areas, so we are all able to pull together everything we have.
On the personal side, there is nothing like seeing and holding a baby that was almost aborted. This is what makes all the stress, challenges, and learning curves worth it– because all of that is helping save lives.
We were recently on a trip to California to celebrate the first birthday of Kiahari, a baby that we helped save from abortion. We were fortunate enough to be present for his birth as well and have been able to build a special bond with Kiahari’s mom and family.
Kiahari’s grandfather told us, “Whenever I look at my grandson, I see you guys.”
Even despite the difficulty of not having our own children, being a part of the lives of these families changes our perspective on the situation.
Why do we need more women in pro-life?
Women need to step up and tell other women that they deserve better and that they can get the help they need. Women need to stand up for other women.
I think our focus in the pro-life movement has also been very legislative and more centered around the baby, which is great, but we need to understand that there is a mom in this situation who is scared and feeling vulnerable.
In my experience, women who are going through these situations want to talk to other women and be counseled by women. They need someone who understands what they are going through and have someone they can fully open up to.
Let them Live has pregnancy counselors who have also been through abortions. Having abortion as part of their story helps them counsel women facing abortion decisions and tell them, “I’ve been there, I’ve gone through it and it isn’t worth it.”
Women need to know that we are not anti-woman but we are here to empower them and make sure that they are not subject to the consequences of abortion.
Learn more about Let them Live here.
Read more stories of empowerment here.