A single mother in Alabama considered having an abortion, but the cost and distance she would have had to travel prevented her from doing so, she told Fox News Digital in an interview.
Jessica – Fox News Digital is only using her first name to protect her privacy – said that when she found out she was pregnant for the second time, she didn’t feel she could handle another child, especially since she had recently been diagnosed with the autoimmune disease, lupus, which left her unable to work and barely able to walk, all while she was struggling financially to raise her daughter.
“When I found out I was pregnant, there were mixed emotions because I do have a daughter, and she’s the light of my life, but I had so many health issues with this pregnancy,” she said. “In October 2022, I found out, I was diagnosed with lupus. I was happy about the pregnancy, and then I was ashamed and embarrassed about my pregnancy because of my health issues and my mom [didn’t like] my child’s father, which [were some of the] main reasons why I was considering having an abortion.”
“Because what would people say? I already have health issues and then, on top of my lupus, I wasn’t able to work, so I didn’t have any income coming in, so that… [was] what really made me go towards [an] abortion because I’m like, ‘Well, I don’t have the support or the finances to take care of this child, I’m really struggling with my daughter.'”
Alabama is one of several states where abortion is almost entirely illegal following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and returned the question of abortion to the states. Alabama currently bans abortion at any stage of pregnancy with no current exceptions for rape and incest. The only exemption is when a mother’s life is at risk.
In order to obtain an abortion, Jessica would have had to travel to Georgia, which is about four hours from the small town in Alabama where she was born and raised.
“I researched, and I found the place, but I never did call because I didn’t have the money for the abortion,” she added. “Me and my child’s father, we [were] going through a lot of problems.”
But when she went to her grandfather asking for the money she needed for the abortion, he gave her advice that she said changed her mind completely.
“I told him that I was disappointed because I was even considering having an abortion,” she said. “My granddaddy sat me on the side of the bed, and he told me to not be ashamed, to hold my head up high, I had nothing to be embarrassed about [but] before he would let me consider having an abortion, he [said he] would take this child because abortion wasn’t an option [for him].”
“After talking to my granddaddy, who was one of the most influential people in my life, because he’s been there through it all … He has truly supported me and when he told me that he would take [the baby in], that was one of the reasons why I was like, ‘I can’t, I will not have this abortion if somebody is willing to take this child in, how could I deny that.'”
Jessica admitted that if she hadn’t talked to her grandfather, she “probably would have” gone to the abortion clinic in Georgia if she had the money.
“But, by me talking to my granddaddy before, that changed my decision,” she said. “Even here at the Lighthouse [women’s pregnancy center in Alabama], they told me that I didn’t have to be embarrassed about the abortion, that that was something natural, to hold my head [high], but they really talked to me and gave me the support I needed when I felt like I didn’t have [anyone] else.”
Tanya, the Executive Director at The Lighthouse, which counseled Jessica, told Fox News Digital that the center’s biggest goal is educating women on all of their options before they make any decision, equipping them with the tools they need to empower them “to not only choose life for their baby, but be thriving and successful parents.”
“We just want her to know that she’s not alone and somebody’s got her back,” she added.
“I had my son on November 10th … and to see my son and look at his little face, it was one of the best decisions that I ever could have made,” Jessica said. “Because I do feel bad about even considering abortion, I tell him every day that I’m sorry that I even thought about it, I love him and because of the support that I had, he’s here.”
“I know abortion is not easy, but taking a life is not the right choice, so I would encourage [pregnant women] to just talk about their options,” Jessica said. “Consider other choices, even if they don’t have the support, there is somebody that is always willing to help and listen.”
While Jessica said she is “embarrassed” that she ever considered having an abortion, she said she empathizes with the “men and women who are going through or been through what I was thinking about doing,” adding she would tell them that even if they don’t have the support she had, “they can find somewhere [like] their local pregnancy center that can help them, just somebody that can sit there and talk to them and listen to their concerns … there’s so many other options, adoption, or maybe a family member that can’t have children.”