By Paul Dobbyn
“IF you know something is harmful, and if something brings spiritual and emotional harm – wouldn’t you try to prevent others from coming into that same harm?”
Brisbane priest Fr Adrian Sharp asked the question of a gathering at a recent fundraising dinner for Pregnancy Crisis Incorporated.
The “something” he was referring to was abortion.
“I certainly want to prevent this harm,” he told nearly 200 PCI supporters gathered at Annerley’s Marymac Community Centre.
“Far better to try to prevent such a thing happening, than simply trying to pick up the pieces after the fact.”
Fr Sharp’s pastoral ministry with women who have had abortions has shaped his views on the issue.
“Over the years, I’ve journeyed – in one way or another – with a number of women who have had abortions,” he said.
“I have seen first hand the devastation caused – the trauma suffered, and effects which go on for years.
“Sometimes it can take a woman a long time to work out what’s wrong; what has or is causing her problems.
“Thank goodness for programs like Rachel’s Vineyard which helps women to find healing after abortion.”
Fr Sharp also reflected on his experiences with the pro-life movement in Ottawa and his attendance at Canada’s National March for Life, an annual event attended by about 20,000 people.
Fr Sharp said he had always supported Pregnancy Crisis Incorporated for its focus on providing practical help to women under pressure to abort their unborn children.
“PCI’s work appealed because it was a case of putting money where the mouth was,” he said.
“Critics often say the Church tells women not to have abortions but doesn’t support them in a practical way.”
PCI president Patti Camp said support for the annual fundraising dinner had again been excellent, both financially and in the response to an appeal for volunteers.
“We are training house supervisors and support workers who responded to our appeal,” she said.
PCI provides 24-hours-a-day service, seven days a week, 365 days a year to support women with crisis pregnancies.
The support to the mother also continues for a minimum of five months after birth.
PCI House, on Brisbane’s southside, provides safe accommodation for the women, and volunteers also visit women at risk in their own homes.
For further information or to enquire about volunteering phone 1300 777 777 or email email@example.com.