Ms. G, Winnipeg woman in 90s fetus rights case, watches son graduate
'Something that I never thought I'd see,' says Donna George
A recovered glue-sniffing addict whose pregnancy made headlines in the 90s watched her teenage son graduate from high school in Winnipeg on Friday.
"Something that I never thought I'd see," said Donna George. "[It's] a blessing to see my son graduate. I'm really happy."
In 1996, a provincial judge ordered a pregnant George into treatment for her addiction. There were concerns at the time her unborn child would be born with permanent deficits.
"They said he'd be a vegetable, that he'd be in a wheelchair his whole life," said George.
The case went to the Supreme Court, where the ruling overturned and then struck down. The court ruled a fetus is not a person with legal rights, which meant Manitoba authorities couldn't force George, dubbed "Ms. G" during court coverage, to undergo treatment.
George said her son Adam has grown up to be an intelligent young man who is in great health without any deficits.
"I'm proud of it. Proud I proved them wrong," said Adam. "I'm not a vegetable."
George, who managed to get clean and raise five kids on her own, said she shares in her son's pride.
"I'm really happy for him, kind of scared, too, because like I say he's so smart, a really smart boy, compared to what they said about him," said George, adding the birth of her son changed her outlook on life.
"He proved them wrong. He just proved everybody wrong."
Grew up without a dad
Adam plans to either study psychology at the University of Manitoba or the culinary arts at Red River College. Despite beating the odds, he said life without a father wasn't easy.
"Hard without a father. I was the father figure kind of guy. Kind of had to look after my little brothers, sisters," Adam said.
Adam volunteers and helps children who, like him, have fetal alcohol syndrome. His mom has stayed clean all these years and now she counsels at-risk women and children.
George said her spiritual beliefs played a big part in helping to turn her life around.
"He's healed me. He's healed my son. I have my own little family. Everything I have is a miracle. It's a blessing," said George. "I would've died years ago. I wouldn't be here today."
People told her to have an abortion when she was pregnant with Adam, George said. Today she said she couldn't be happier for having him around.
"I'm his big support. I'm going to watch him continue to grow, I know he's on his own but I will always be there."