Relationships are at the heart of everything we do as human persons. We define ourselves from within them as mother, son, daughter, or sister. Relationships of all kinds recur again and again in the moral teachings of religions the world over. Some modern philosophers have even theorized that human life only finds its meaning within relationships. To a great extent, relationships make us or break us.


In our work at Abria, we find that broken relationships are often behind a woman’s fear that she can’t carry through with her pregnancy. Without commitment from the father of her child or the support of parents and siblings, she is left alone with the lifelong consequences of a relationship that may never have been meant to last that long. Bringing this perspective on the importance of healthy relationships into the all the services we offer clients is what sets Abria apart from other organizations. We knew from the outset of this new venture that we wanted to offer women the friendship, that is, the relationships, they needed. We want to help them build their lives on the solid foundation of their own worthiness to be valued as unrepeatable human persons and to value others, especially their unborn children, in the same way. And we hope that by understanding her worth and dignity, she will come to see that she can have healthy, long-lasting relationships grounded in love and respect.


In this issue of Friends for Life, the complexity of cultivating healthy relationships is evident. For example, the easy access and increased use of pornography is just one factor making it difficult for young people to engage in deep, lasting, supportive, and meaningful relationships. As Ellie Jensen, our education outreach manager, expressed it, “Pornography is an issue that gets to the core of our culture’s struggle with relationships – loving things and using people.”  Our antidote: meeting women and young people where they are, acknowledging their dignity and goodness, and offering the tools to examine what they truly want for themselves and in relationships to others.  Sometimes, we plant seeds and don’t know when or if they blossomed. Other times, however, we are honored to see the growth happening, step by step, even to full blossom as in the case of Abreya’s story in this newsletter.


Your support makes all of this possible. Thank you for your friendship and your part in allowing us to bring beautiful relationships to life!



Nancy Utoft