by Steven Ertelt
March 19, 2007
Kingston, Jamaica (LifeNews.com) — The head of the Miss World beauty pageant says it will not strip the Miss World Caribbean title from beauty queen Sara Lawrence, who announced she would step down as Miss Jamaica after saying she was pregnant and would not have an abortion.
Lawrence will also be able to keep her Miss Jamaica title.
Julia Morley, the founder and chairman of Miss World Limited, has also written to the organizers of the local Jamaica pageant and asked them to allow Lawrence to keep her crown rather than having the 2005 contestant serve the remainder of her term.
A Radio Jamaica report indicated that Morley called Lawrence, who is a medical student, "a brilliant girl whose behavior and promotion of Jamaica is second to none."
She also said Lawrence is a "warm, compassionate and caring person."
Lawrence has already performed in the 2006 Miss World contest and won the Miss World Caribbean title as the top Miss World contestant from the region.
Miss Jamaica World franchise holder, Mickey Haughton-James, previously called Lawrence a "fabulous young woman who did Jamaica proud" but 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.
Morley’s letter came in response to those comments and Haughton-James appeared to change his stance after getting Morley’s letter.
He told the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper that Morley suggested he allow Lawrence to keep her titles and that he would do so.
"I am very touched by the stance taken by Julia Morley and we are both unified in our decision to have Sara keep her titles and to give her our full support even if she decides to stick by her decision to relinquish her duties," he said. "I have no intention of removing her title."
Still, he called Lawrence’s pregnancy an "error of judgment" though he added people should not condemn her.
Lawrence became the subject of international attention last week when she became he latest beauty pageant queen to relinquish her crown after she refused to have an abortion. In January, the Miss USA pageant came under fire for forcing the winner of the New Jersey state contest to resign her crown because she’s pregnant and wouldn’t abort.
The 22 year-old Lawrence said she would relinquish her position "having taken a deeply personal decision to face up to my responsibilities as one who expects to become a mother later this year."
"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" Lawrence added.
Lawrence said her boyfriend supports her decision to keep the baby and not have an abortion. Though abortion advocates frequently say otherwise, she said 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 now 13 weeks pregnant, said.