By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
MORE and more women who are feeling uncertain about what the future holds after the COVID-19 pandemic have reportedly been feeling overwhelming pressure to terminate their pregnancies.
This according to the Bahamas GodParent Centre, a pregnancy, youth and family resource facility under the umbrella of ProLife Bahamas.
“We have been getting more calls than regular during COVID-19 from women in limbo and who have been thinking whether to abort their babies,” said Rhonda Darville, co-founder of the GodParent Centre. “We even have had a partner call us saying how does he potentially stop this situation.”
“We know that people are afraid, and fear is what is driving their decisions right now. But I want those in this circumstance not to make a permanent decision based on a temporary situation. Reach out to the GodParent Centre. We want to help,” Mrs Darville told Tribune Woman.
The Bahamas GodParent Centre was launched in 2015 with the aim of proclaiming the value and sanctity of all human life and offer hope to those who are hurting. The centre offers preventative, intervention, restorative and educational services to those who need them.
There can be a myriad of reasons why a woman would consider abortion as an alternative to having a baby. In 24-year-old Charlicia Greenslade’s case, she was already a mother to a two-year-old, her relationship with her her child’s father was unstable at the time, and she found it difficult to even take care of herself. A new baby, she believed, would complicate her life further.
“Even though I felt strongly about having the abortion, because things were not right in my life, there was something on the inside telling me that maybe I should not go through with it. Me and my boyfriend, who is now my fiancé today, at the time had a bad relationship. We were off and on. Life was a real challenge and struggle for me, so I felt as though getting rid of the baby was the best thing I could have done in that situation,” she said.
Although it is illegal in the Bahamas, Charlicia began researching various methods of abortion online. It was a confusing and terrifying time for her.
“I didn’t quite know how to go about having (an abortion). I did not have any friends who had one either who could show me the ropes or tell me about it. I decided to find out what information I could online. But the methods I read about made me nervous. I remember thinking if I do go through with it I want to be able to still have kids after,” she said.
Feeling stuck and uncertain as to what her next course of action should be, Charlicia said she sent out a prayer.
“I asked God to help guide my decision. Not too long after I was scrolling of Facebook and the Bahamas GodParent Centre popped up in my newsfeed. I clicked their page and sent them message,” she said.
Charlicia waited on an answer she was not certain she would receive.
“Then I saw a message from the organisation. I was shocked they even answered. I was overjoyed,” she said.
The couple then met with Mrs Darville who gave them hope and a viable course of action.
“She really was a beacon of hope for me. I was feeling so helpless. We did not know what to do, but after getting in touch with the centre things began to look different,” said Charlicia.
The couple eventually decided on Charlicia carrying the baby to full term and afterwards giving it up adoption. However, things changed along the way.
“During my last trimester, I started doubting my decision to give my baby up for adoption. I told Mrs Darville I was not sure I wanted to go through with it anymore because my first son had been battling with various health complications. I said to her, ‘What if I lose my first son and then end up giving this child up for adoption, I will have nothing’,” she said.
“Mrs Darville supported my decision and said she would still prepare all the paperwork for the adoption just in case I wanted to go through with it after giving birth.”
Charlicia’s fears about her first child soon became a reality. Her son died at the age of four in March 2019. Her second son, whom she decided not to give up for adoption after all, was almost two years old at the time.
“I felt like I wanted to kill myself when (my first child) died. And it is still difficult today because I am not over his death”, the young mother told Tribune Woman.
While she continues to grieve the loss of her first son, Charlicia is grateful to Mrs Darville and the GodParent Centre for supporting her through every ordeal and setback she faced.
“I do not know where I would be without them. She supported, encouraged me, ensured that we always had groceries, clothing for my kids and anything else we needed. I hope is a part of my life forever,” she said.