Mothers Testify: Our Children Are Compatible With LOVE!

Three mothers courageously testified at the  Louisiana Capitol last week sharing their  testimonies about the pressure they received to abort their babies with abnormalities. Two of these mothers brought their children who survived and thrived despite their diagnosis!

Janina Bernard from Lake Charles said about her son with Trisomy 13, “My OBGYN called me and she said with physical abnormalities, cleft lip, intellectual disabilities, that my baby would not survive. That if he did survive, he would live a month. At that moment that is the most information I got about my son. …We saw the high risk doctor [that said] the only option is abortion. …My son is thriving. He is eight.”

These testimonies compelled the Senate committee to vote favorably on SB 325: The Compatible with Love Empowerment Act. This legislation ensures that families who receive a life-limiting prenatal diagnosis in Louisiana also receive resources for concrete help and positive information from their doctor, such as local perinatal hospice programs and various forms of aid. 

Under current Louisiana law, it is still legal to have an abortion in these cases. But there are many families who might not choose that if they were to see the bountiful community of emotional, physical, and financial support available to them. We understand the deep grief and challenges families face when they receive such a diagnosis.

All life is valuable, and these babies deserve a chance at life and love no matter how brief their life may be. 

An abortion after a confirmed diagnosis most often involves dismembering a child limb-from-limb past the time when they can feel pain. But Kila Gonzales from Monroe gave a depiction of the compassionate and life-affirming alternative path for their daughter, Eva Grace, who they were told was “incompatible with life”:

“We were referred to perinatal hospice and we had a team dedicated to our care. […] On March 4th, 2019 our daughter was born. It was a difficult birth but she was born alive. Meeting her was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. […] Eva lived only 36 minutes but each moment was spent being held by us. We had the chance to kiss her and tell her what she meant to us and hold her and tell her goodbye as she took her last breath.” She also pointed out, “Unfortunately, many families in my situation don’t end up with a doctor like I did that’s encouraging and supportive. Some doctors actually encourage abortion when carrying a baby is a safe and dignified option.

Families deserve all of the help and information possible in these situations and especially deserve not to be left alone or feel belittled if they do not want to choose abortion, as goes the story of hundreds of thousands of families who have gone through this. SB 325 is a good start to changing that!

Visit to see more stories and a fairly comprehensive list of resources including palliative care and perinatal hospice options, counseling and support communities for the family, bereavement resources, financial aid, and more!