In Jamaica, a group of Catholic nuns run a pro-life center called Holy Innocents Crisis Centre for mothers who initially considered aborting their children. According to The Jamaica Gleaner, the center has resulted in the lives of more than 100 babies being saved from abortion in the past two years.
Additionally, since June they have taken in 12 disabled children who were referred to them by local hospitals. Most of the women who come to their center are teenagers, have been abandoned by their partners or are mothers of children with disabilities.
The nun who manages the center, Sister Jo-Ann Belmonte, shared more about what they provide for pregnant women. She said, ” Any woman who comes to our gate and says ‘Sis, I have no place to live, I am on the streets and I am pregnant’, we bring in. Our first set of mothers stayed with us for over a year after they had their babies, because they were very comfortable because we took care of all their needs. They didn’t want for anything, we cooked for them, when their babies wanted diapers or this or that, whatever we had we gave.”
However, the women who come to Holy Innocents Crisis Centre will not live there forever; instead, the nuns help take care of them until they are ready to live on their own.
Amazingly, Sister Belmonte said that the majority of women who decide to leave their babies at the center return for their children.
She said, “They had left them behind for a short while, but then they came to get them back, and one of our children that was left behind for more than a year and a half, the baby’s father came and took him. In the case where the father came for the child he was granted custody by the court.” The center also gives parents the option of signing over their parental rights to the nuns through the courts.
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Mother of two, Julene, said she was forced to seek refuge at the centre when her partner kicked her out of the house while she was six months’ pregnant. She said a lady told her about the centre and she, along with her eight-year-old daughter and newborn, spent eight months there.
“I didn’t have anywhere else to go,” said Julene. “I have four sisters and is only one could have helped me, but she couldn’t help me because she want help herself.”
Julene said she has since relocated to St Elizabeth to live with her father’s family and is in the process of sourcing material to build a house in that section of the island. Although things are rough for her, she says she is happy she had not aborted her son.
“I don’t believe in abortion, I think it is wicked. I would tell women to have their child and God will provide,” said Julene.