JAYA Taki was tearful, but determined to share her personal experience of being coerced into abortion.
“As I was to eventually find out domestic violence and abortion are closely linked, and stories such as mine are more common than we would ever think,” the young mother told MPs and concerned citizens attending a forum in Queensland’s parliament house building, to consider the state’s proposed bill to legalise abortion.
“I was coerced into an abortion through emotional and psychological blackmail by my former NRL-playing boyfriend.
“I found out I was pregnant at six weeks and whilst I knew the timing wasn’t ideal I was actually still excited at the thought of having a baby – unplanned but not unwanted.
“However moments after sharing the news with him (my boyfriend) I was stunned at the heartlessness of his reaction telling me instantly to abort or I would be facing this pregnancy alone.”
Ms Taki wiped back tears as she spoke about her experience two years ago and still raw and alive.
“Over the next few weeks I would be subjected to a horrifying amount of domestic abuse and manipulation,” she said.
“I had begged him to talk things through with me, to support me keeping the baby but I was told things like ‘How could you ruin my life like this’ and ‘Why would you bring a child into this world when it is unwanted by its father’.”
Ms Taki said she knew her story was “more common than we would ever think”.
“Since my story went public I have been contacted by multiple women who aborted due to coercion – one man even telling his partner he would end his own life if she didn’t abort,” she said.
“When you are bombarded with that type of abuse, control and manipulation you become exhausted, scared, rejected and, for me personally, my thought processes were skewed.
“It is so scary to reflect on how controlled and negatively impacted I was. I am a very strong woman … and even the strongest of us can be weakened.
“I eventually called an abortion clinic and was able to book an appointment instantly – no questions asked.”
Given her grief and fear, Ms Taki said she expected that an abortion clinic counsellor might find her not fit to have an abortion and send her away.
“I saw this as my safeguard,” she said.
The counselling session lasted minutes, and when asked why she wanted an abortion Ms Taki replied “because he says its too early in our relationship”.
The counsellor replied: “That’s a good reason to have one.”
The counsellors reply shocked Ms Taki and left her feeling alone.
“I was the only one fighting for this baby and when this ‘expert’ was so casual about it I was defeated,” she said.
“As I entered the abortion room and sat on the abortionists table I was thinking to myself I want to leave, but I was too scared.
“This is the truth of what goes on in those clinics.
“Two days after the abortion when the morning sickness subsided and the sleep was caught up on, the realisation of regret and grief slammed into me like a truck at full speed.
“It was then that I realised there was an incredibly dark side to abortion and how it is not the best choice for many of us informed into believing it is.”
At least, Ms Taki expected the domestic violence would end after she had complied with her boyfriend and had an abortion, but it didn’t.
“As months went on I spiralled into depression, fear and anxiety and contemplated taking my own life on occasions,” she said.
One thing kept Ms Taki going – her daughter, born several years earlier.
“And so with every ounce of my being I fought to stay here with her,” she said.
“I have had an abortion, I have also unfortunately endured a miscarriage, and I am a mother. Choosing life positively changed my life. Ending life almost ended mine.
“My daughter is a prime example that with the right support we can raise human beings who better this world – because it turns out it’s my girl who is the role model for others.
“We can do better for women …”