Miss Jamaica World 2006 has announced that she will relinquish her beauty pageant crown after becoming pregnant rather than have an abortion.
Sara Lawrence wrote in a statement, “Having taken a deeply personal decision to face up to my responsibilities as one who expects to become a mother later this year.”
The 21 year-old Lawrence is an alumna of Immaculate Conception High School, and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with an emphasis on Pre-Medicine from Randolph-Macon College, Virginia.
She wrote, “I believe with all that is within me that it is my moral obligation to do what I believe to be ethically correct and follow what I believe in my heart to be right.”
The Jamaica Observer reports that Lawrence’s decision has sparked a debate over abortion in Jamaica. Jamaica Bureau of Women’s Affairs, Faith Webster, told the paper that the decision is a reflection of the success of the “choice” campaign for abortion in that country.
“She had a choice and she made that choice. We just have to give people their choice, which is what it’s all about, the woman’s choice.”
Calling her pregnancy the result of “an error of judgment,” the Miss Jamaica World pageant authorities said, “There was another way out of the predicament that Sara found herself to be in and many, perhaps most, young women would have chosen that path.”
Mickey Haughton-James, the pageant promoter said, “As is typical of her she is doing so in a forthright manner, with class and in keeping with her moral dictates.”
Although she will not be representing their island, Jamaica is proud of Sara and the decision that she made. There was a nice article written in the Jamaica Observer praising her for not taking the easy way.
I love the positive message her decision gives to women all over the world.