Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Family in Need of Help...Not Just an Abortion

Dawn Eden alerts us to a story featured by abortion provider "Nell" at the abortionclinicdays blog, discussing an African-American woman with the name of DaShay, a hysteric mother who called to inquire about getting Plan B for her mentally disabled 17-year-old daughter, Alia. In the discussion with abortion provider "Nell" DaShay comes to the realization that her daughter is 9 weeks pregnant and insists her daughter has an abortion.

The story is a that of single mother living at poverty level and end the end of her rope, caring for her mentally disabled daughter and for her daughters son as well.  And now the daughter is pregnant again. Because of the nature of her disability, this raises the question of whether or not the sex is consensual and whether or not she is the victim of statuatory rape. Also, there is the issue of the financial and living situation in which she and her mother are living in.

Nell describes what happened after DaShay, who was "pretty angry, cursing her daughter up and down for having sex," put her daughter on the phone:
Alia answered my questions slowly, but kept confirming that she did not want to be pregnant. Even though she was 17, she sounded younger. Mom was in the background shouting lots of questions, so I asked to speak to DaShay again. "Look--my daughter has one baby and I got her baby. I adopted him because she can't care for him. She's got a disability, she can't care for herself, she can't learn, she was in special classes but went and dropped out. I been laid off. We only get a little bit of money for her disability. She can't have another baby! We are on welfare--do you hear me? WEL...FARE. WELFARE! Understand? We got nothing. Now what's this gonna cost? Thirty? Fifty dollars for the pills?"Because of where she lived, DaShay's welfare would not cover the cost of an abortion. "Actually, it's going to be closer to $350," I explained again why it was different than needing Plan B. She started screaming at her daughter, "$350? What am I supposed to do! Where we gonna get money? Where'd that little boy go who said he's gonna help you?"
The abortion provider Nell seems short-sighted, focusing on raising the funds to end the girl's pregnancy, but does not seemed concerned of the living situation of Alia and her mother, nor of Alia's disabilities:
When DaShay calmed down again, we went over her finances. She was right--they were just barely surviving. I don't know how she was making it work. We went through the steps to get her some emergency help from the National Abortion Foundation, but still weren't able to get the whole cost covered. We made a plan where she would try to come up with a portion and I would start calling around to some other emergency abortion funds to find part of it. We scheduled Alia's appointment for two weeks in the future, to give each of us a chance to try to come up with some more money. I'm still waiting for phone calls back from the emergency funds and I don't know what's going to happen.
Following readers concern for Alia, the abortion provider, Nell, added a postscript to the entry:
Because several readers have been distressed at the possibility that Alia may have been sexually abused or that she did not have the intellectual capacity to understand what was happening for her. I'm glad that our readers are concerned for her welfare. No woman should be forced or coerced into having an abortion, continuing a pregnancy or giving a child up for adoption. It is very important that women with special needs get extra time and care to ensure that they make decisions that they are comfortable with. For an example of how a counselor can work with a minor to ensure that she is not being abused, that she understands the medical care she will recieve and that her medical team and family come together to help support her, please see this entry that Lou wrote a few weeks ago.
Ok, so they talk about how wrong coercion is and blah, blah, blah, but do they actually take the time to sit down and talk with the women and actively listen to what the woman really is saying? Eventhough she may be saying yes, she is crying, and her abusive boyfriend or parent is waiting for her out in the waiting room or the car. And I wonder, with how hysterical and demanding the mother in this situation is being, if the daughter is under pressure or being coerced to have the abortion? And what, I wonder, is Nell and Lou's idea of counseling for Alia? Having her hysterical mother sit with her and hold her hand while they describe her pregnancy and the abortion procedure in run-of-the-mill medical descriptions and pro-choice euphemisms which she may or may not understand? Will the abortion providers refer the family for community and support services or do their services only extend to the abortion?

Following Nell's post, abortionclinicdays posted a follow-up telling readers how they could finance Alia's abortion:
One organization that helps women nationally is WRRAP. They are wonderful, just wonderful. I could tell you so many stories of women they have helped! Pregnant women who have lost their jobs, women who are homeless, women whose personal finances are committed to their children. Even working women sometimes earn too little to be able to pay for an abortion and still pay their rent. WRRAP's staff is volunteer so whatever you donate goes right to the clinics for a specific woman whose situation we present to them. Whenever WRRAP has money, they immediately spread it around! And I have never seen such an increase in requests! These days, with so many women losing their jobs, losing hours at work, losing their homes, the requests are greater than ever. As a result, WRRAP is always short of funds. Any amount you care to send will be so appreciated, is so needed!
It's not amazing the number of individuals who are so quick to jump in and offer financial donations for the abortion, but I wonder if the same individuals would also be willing  to jump to the aid and support of women who chose to carry to term, to assist a single mother afford daycare while she works, to help a poor family who is struggling make rent, to open their home to a young mother and her child, or be willing to drive a woman to well-care doctors appointments, etc.

What will become of Alia, her son, and her mother after the abortion? And why is the PREGNANCY the only thing the mother and the abortion clinic staff care about? This family needs help on so many levels and Christina from Real Choice addresses these issues:

1. They need to consider whether or not Alia's sex was consensual and whether or not it is statuatory rape, due to her age and disabilities.

2. The girl has special needs that obviously aren't being met. How is an abortion going to fix that?

3. Her mother is obviously past the end of her rope, totally decompensating, stressed out to where she can't cope any more. That girl needs to be out of that situation and her mother needs intervention to get her life on a decent track.

All an abortion will accomplish is ending the life of Alia's unborn baby and a bunch of elitists patting themselves on the back for what? For “helping “ another woman by providing her an abortion, even while this girl and her family remain in a miserable situation.

Take Action:

- Pray for DaShay and Alia, that they have a change of heart and for their home situation.

- Learn about your local pregnancy resource centers, non-profit organizations, and assistance programs so that you may be able to refer those in need.

- Donate to your local pregnancy resource center's Earn While You Learn Program. Through this program, women participate in parenting and life skills (finances, budgeting, time management, etc) courses which empower them to become more independent and break the cycle of poor parenting, neglect, and abuse while earning vouchers for supplemental baby hygiene items, furniture, maternity and infant/toddler clothing,  car seats, infant bedding, etc, with diapers and formula given out on an emergency basis.

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