by Steven Ertelt
March 16, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A leading African-American pro-life advocate says that the decision by 22 year-old Miss Jamaica World 2006 Sara Lawrence to give up her crown rather than have an abortion is the right one. Day Gardner, says she understands Lawrence’s decision and knows what it’s like to face the pressure.
Gardner is a former Miss Delaware and was the first black woman to be a semifinalist at the Miss America pageant. She’s also the head of the National Black Pro-Life Union.
As LifeNews.com reported yesterday, Lawrence is the latest beauty pageant queen to relinquish her crown after she refused to have an abortion. She is expecting a baby in September and said he’s keeping her baby instead of her crown.
"We are living in an age where we are taught to look for a quick fix no matter what the consequences," Gardner said in a statement LifeNews.com received. "Unfortunately, one such ‘quick fix’ has resulted in the torturous killing of millions and millions of children by abortion since the passing of Roe vs. Wade in 1973."
Gardner said she recalled how fortunate she felt to compete in both the state and national pageant and "be selected above so many equally beautiful and talented girls."
She applauded Lawrence’s decision to keep her baby when others may have made a different choice or suggested that she have an abortion to keep her title.
"Though there are those who would have a woman in Sara’s predicament believe differently, life is not over because of an unplanned or unexpected pregnancy," Gardner said. "Sara Lawrence is still young and still beautiful and she still has a wonderful, exciting and successful career ahead of her."
About her decision not to have an abortion, Lawrence said, "I believe that it is my moral obligation to do what I believe to be ethically correct and will follow what I believe to be right."
The young woman said her boyfriend supports her decision to keep the baby and added that she would have no problem continuing to pursue a career and raising her child at the same time.
"I will continue pursuing a career in medicine after the birth of my baby," Lawrence, who is 12 weeks pregnant, said.
Lawrence has already performed in the 2006 Miss World contest, and Miss Jamaica World franchise holder, Mickey Haughton-James, told the newspaper she is a "fabulous young woman who did Jamaica proud."
Still, she said keeping her crown and carrying the baby to term were incompatible, implying that an abortion would let her continue her reign.
"Sara’s role in all of this cannot be ignored; her actions could potentially harm the tradition that is the Miss Jamaica World pageant and past and future winners," Haughton-James said.
In January, Ashley Harder, Miss New Jersey USA, said she had to step down because the rules of the contest forbid pregnant women from competing. Her resignation forced her to not compete for the Miss USA title this month.
Harder defended her pregnancy and decision to not have an abortion and said that having a baby shouldn’t be viewed so negatively.