Tuesday, January 20, 2009

True Heroism: NY Times Tells Story of Woman Who Chose Homeless Shelter over Abortion

True Heroism: NY Times Tells Story of Woman Who Chose Homeless Shelter over Abortion

By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

NEW YORK, January 20, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - When Jabrilla English was 24 years old, nine months pregnant, and living with the mother of her half-brother, she was given an ultimatum: have her unborn child killed by an abortion, or leave. She said, however, that abortion was not an option and chose instead to live in a homeless shelter in the Bronx.

The NY Times article recounting Jabrilla's story (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/20/nyregion/20neediest.html?_...) goes on to describe her difficult but hopeful childhood growing up with her grandmother, her effort to get out of the poverty surrounding her by attending a year at Marymount Manhattan College and majoring in psychology, and how she ended up giving birth to her son Elijah two weeks after moving in to the shelter.

“It was a nightmare,” said English of her experience in the shelter.

Jabrilla is now 29 and has persevered through illness and a cycle of low-paying jobs and being on welfare to a point where she now has hope for herself and her son.

“I’m not going to play victim and say that this or that is the reason why I am in the position I am in. You have to take responsibility,” Ms. English told the NY Times. “There were some things that I could not control. But I’m a mother, I have a son, and I’m no good to him if I’m not together mentally."

“I didn’t think I would go through anything like that,” Ms. English said. “But I’m kind of glad I did, though. It really made me appreciate everything.”

Jabrilla's courage in the face of the adversity she faced is emphasized by the findings of a recent study that shows that the level of support a woman has from family, support groups, and especially from the father of her child, plays a key role in whether or not the woman aborts. Women like Jabrilla who receive little support during their pregnancy are much likelier to abort than others, according to the study, which was headed by Prof. Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University and published in the International Journal of Mental Health & Addiction.

Another study, published in the Medical Science Monitor, reported that a survey of women in post-abortion support groups found that more than 83 percent said they would have continued the pregnancy if they had been given more support from others. This survey also found that 64 percent of respondents reported feeling pressured to abort by others, and more than 80 percent said they weren't given enough information to make an informed decision about abortion.

Jabrilla's story does not yet have a happy ending, however. The NY Times reported that though she has achieved her goal of getting off welfare, her financial position is precarious and she has received help from the Times Neediest Cases Fund to buy a bed for her son, Elijah, so they no longer have to share her futon, and a dining table and chairs so they can eat together.

Funds to help her may be directed through the link to the NY Times story given above.

Link to the study referred to in this article:

New Study Finds Father's Support Plays Key Role in Abortion
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jan/09012001.html

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