Christine Tofaeono was only 16 when she was pressured to abort her unborn baby. Because of her experience, Christine is sharing her story in hopes of encouraging Australian politicians to vote down a bill that would legalize abortion up to nine months of pregnancy.
Upon first discovering her pregnancy, Christine was overjoyed. “I was actually sitting in the toilet in the house where I was residing in and I remember glaring down at the pregnancy test and I was actually really happy,” she told The Catholic Leader.
Even Christine’s partner was happy and supportive. But after telling her housemates about her pregnancy, she was surprised at their disapproval. Christine had been forced out of her family home at 14, and so now her housemates were her support system. At their prompting, Christine visited a doctor and said that she needed to book a clinic.
“The doctor just signed this piece of paper and gave me this piece of paper and I was on my way. I wasn’t given an option.”
Christine explained that she didn’t realize the doctor referred her to an abortion clinic. The doctor also gave her the number for Children by Choice, a non-profit organization that promotes abortion.
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Christine described her conversation with the organization, “When I spoke to them (over the phone) I didn’t feel like I had a choice.”
The uncertain teenager sought counselling. She went to three different counsellors, all who insisted her that pregnancy would ruin her future.
Christine went to the abortion clinic and aborted her eight-week-old baby. She explained that despite living through sexual abuse, rape and molestation, nothing prepared her for the “horror” of living after an abortion.
“I didn’t feel relieved at all, I felt really empty,” Christine said.
“I felt like a part of me was ripped out of me and, I don’t know … for your mind to try and comprehend that you were just pregnant a couple of hours ago and not to be pregnant is really huge.
“I wasn’t the same. I couldn’t stop crying and I just wanted to be alone. We specifically got black curtains to draw from the light because I just wanted to be alone in the dark and not talk. It was a really lonely time for me.”
Christine finished high school while pregnant with her second child, according to the report. She went on to receive a Diploma of Justice and the 22 year old mother is currently studying for a Bachelor of Psychology and Justice with the intent of studying Law.
When she graduates Christine hopes to put forth a proposal to legislate the definition of the beginning of life: “just to see a definition of life to be legislated, because there’s always that argument that it’s just a clump of cells, it’s not a baby just a foetus – just to define that life begins at conception and it’s been scientifically proven and we have all the facilities to show for.”
Christine is an inspiring advocate for life, as she has experienced first-hand the negative repercussions of abortion. She believes it is vital to educate women on life-affirming options, “I know the adoption laws are really hard at the moment, but for young people and women of any age, and men, to think it’s normal to turn to pregnancy help centers and have the options of adoption be more readily available rather than abortion being the first point of contact.
“Because if, like, someone showed me or educated me during that counselling session I don’t think I would have gone through with the termination at all.”