By Paul Dobbyn
KRYSTINE as a pregnant 16-year-old was so naïve she had to Google “abortion” when a friend told her to procure one.
The young Samoan woman, now 20, told a gathering at Woolloongabba’s Priceless Life Centre of succumbing to manifold pressures to have an abortion.
“Afterwards, I remember sitting in that clinic and the counsellor on site told me I’d feel relieved after doing this,” she said.
“I did not feel relieved … I remember crying out to God; I said: ‘God, I’m on the wrong path, put me back on the right path’.”
Krystine had earlier given details of her family background, which led to the situation.
She had acted as protector for her mother and two sisters from a violent, alcoholic father.
At 14, unable to deal with this and other issues, she left home briefly and returned, only to be kicked out by her father.
Those at Priceless House heard how the homeless young woman turned to prostitution but eventually came to find a belief in Jesus through meeting some faith-filled young people.
Since then, Krystine has become the proud mother of a baby daughter, received two distinctions in Justice Studies and now works as a centre volunteer.
The young woman told her story at an April 1 business breakfast for supporters of the centre, which offers counselling and other resources to women who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy.
Other speakers included State Member for Cleveland Dr Mark Robinson and Priceless Life Centre director Cath Toomey.
Mrs Toomey said Krystine on several occasions had told her “after everything she had ever gone through in her life, the anxiety and horror of her post-abortive experience far outweighed all else”.
“On the other side is the support she received to assist her in continuing her next pregnancy,” she said.
“Prior to this pregnancy, counsellors also told her to abort.
“We’re (Priceless Life Centre) in the business of no coercion, no recommendation, walking with the heart and the head and the vision of the man and the woman in their lives.”
Mrs Toomey spoke of services offered at the centre, which include a phone help line, volunteer training, pregnancy support, post-abortion support, and community and schools education programs.
Community engagement and outreach had increased by 650 per cent in the past nine months, equating to 1500 people reached, she said.
She also had photographs of children who had been born, rather than aborted, as a result of the services offered at the centre.
One woman who visited the centre and went on to have a child had spoken to someone praying outside an abortion clinic, Mrs Toomey said.
Dr Robinson said there were “so many aspects to the issue – the great tragedy, the human impacts, the scale of those impacts, the law and legal government issues, support and resources …”
“But if I can capture the work of ‘Priceless’ from my perspective, it would be in the shape of a life raft or a rescue boat on the Titanic.
“(The organisation) is trying to reach out and pluck people out of their disaster – the sea of humanity in the ocean.
“Yet an organisation like ‘Priceless’ is very focused on the individuals who walk through the door, the ones you can reach to and pull on board.”