Subscribe to IFRL

Contact the Media

GoodSearch cause banner

Option Line - 24 hour Pregnancy Hotline

Illinois Federation

For Right to Life

Daily News

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Story of Woman Who Chose Homeless Shelter over Abortion

When Jabrilla English was 24 years old, nine months pregnant, and living with the mother of her half-brother, she was given an ultimatum: have her unborn child killed by an abortion, or leave. She said, however, that abortion was not an option and chose instead to live in a homeless shelter in the Bronx.

The NY Times article recounting Jabrilla's story (
click here) goes on to describe her difficult but hopeful childhood growing up with her grandmother, her effort to get out of the poverty surrounding her by attending a year at Marymount Manhattan College and majoring in psychology, and how she ended up giving birth to her son Elijah two weeks after moving in to the shelter.

It was a nightmare, said English of her experience in the shelter.

Jabrilla is now 29 and has persevered through illness and a cycle of low-paying jobs and being on welfare to a point where she now has hope for herself and her son.

Im not going to play victim and say that this or that is the reason why I am in the position I am in. You have to take responsibility, Ms. English told the NY Times. There were some things that I could not control. But Im a mother, I have a son, and Im no good to him if Im not together mentally."

I didnt think I would go through anything like that, Ms. English said. But Im kind of glad I did, though. It really made me appreciate everything.

Jabrilla's courage in the face of the adversity she faced is emphasized by the findings of a recent study that shows that the level of support a woman has from family, support groups, and especially from the father of her child, plays a key role in whether or not the woman aborts. Women like Jabrilla who receive little support during their pregnancy are much likelier to abort than others, according to the study, which was headed by Prof. Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University and published in the International Journal of Mental Health & Addiction.
Another study, published in the Medical Science Monitor, reported that a survey of women in post-abortion support groups found that more than 83 percent said they would have continued the pregnancy if they had been given more support from others. This survey also found that 64 percent of respondents reported feeling pressured to abort by others, and more than 80 percent said they weren't given enough information to make an informed decision about abortion.

Jabrilla's story does not yet have a happy ending, however. The NY Times reported that though she has achieved her goal of getting off welfare, her financial position is precarious and she has received help from the Times Neediest Cases Fund to buy a bed for her son, Elijah, so they no longer have to share her futon, and a dining table and chairs so they can eat together.

Funds to help her may be directed through the link to the NY Times story given above.

Contact: Thaddeus M. Baklinski

Source URL:
Publish Date: January 20, 2009
Link to this article:


The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection for the disabled and the elderly. Click here to learn more about the IFRL.

Bookmark and Share