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Life-giving service to women awarded

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Jaya Taki accepts her award for Leadership in Pregnancy Support at NSW Parliament House. PHOTO: Alphonsus Fok

A woman dragged into the media spotlight due to her own crisis pregnancy has been awarded for her role in raising awareness of the need for greater pregnancy support services.

At the 2018 Pregnancy Support Awards Dinner at NSW Parliament House on 14 November, Jaya Taki was awarded along with four others for their work in supporting pregnant women and their families.

The Hon. Greg Donnelly MLC, presented Ms Taki with the award for “Leadership in Pregnancy Support.”

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Ms Taki’s story hit the headlines—against her will—in 2017, after she became pregnant to a high-profile footballer and was subsequently pressured into aborting their unborn child.

The Pregnancy Support Awards recognise individuals and organisations that support women facing crisis pregnancies and their families. PHOTO: Alphonsus Fok

She has spoken publicly about her experience of post-abortion grief and the need for more support for women facing a crisis pregnancy.

“I didn’t expect this at all. I’m very grateful,” Ms Taki said after accepting the award.

She expressed her gratitude for Sarah’s Place, the pregnancy counselling centre in Surry Hills that helped her deal with post-abortion grief.

“I didn’t know abortion grief was a real thing and since then I’ve come leaps and bounds in my personal life and I’m in such an amazing place, from being someone who wanted to take her own life after an abortion. So it’s really me who should be thanking all of you.”

University student, Bethany Marsh, who was targeted through social media after publicly expressing opposition to exclusion zones around abortion clinics, was awarded in the category of “Outstanding Young Volunteer.”

Bethany Marsh receives her award from MP Damian Tudehope, Member for Epping. PHOTO: Alphonsus Fok

The second year student at Campion College, who has provided counselling and support to pregnant women, led the We Support Women advocacy group against the exclusion zone bill passed in the NSW Parliament in May this year.

After expressing her views against the 150 metre exclusion zones during a TV interview with SBS, Ms Marsh was viciously attacked via social media.

“Thank you to everyone who helps expectant mothers and unborn children and families that are struggling. It makes society a better place,” Ms Marsh said, after accepting her award from Damian Tudehope, MP for Epping.

The winner of the award for “Outstanding Pregnancy Support Counselling” was Preethy Abraham, who works at Sarah’s Place, providing both face-to-face and telephone counselling to women facing unplanned pregnancies or experiencing post-abortion grief.

Preethy Abraham was awarded for her work as a pregnancy support counsellor. She received her award from Paul Green MLC. PHOTO: Alphonsus Fok.

The Women’s Life Centre in southern NSW won for “Best Pregnancy Support in Regional, Rural and Remote NSW,” while T21 Mum Australia Network, based in QLD, was awarded in the category of “Outstanding Interstate Pregnancy Support Service.” T21 Mum Australia specialises in supporting mums whose unborn children have been identified as potentially or positively Down syndrome.

Mr Donnelly, who initiated the Pregnancy Support Awards three years ago, thanked all those present at the dinner for the work they do in supporting pregnant mothers and their families, and paid tribute to all organisations and individuals engaged in such vital work.

NSW MP Greg Donnelly, far right, initiatived the Pregnancy Support Awards three years ago. PHOTO: Alphonsus Fok

“While detailed records are not available, one can safely say that thousands of lives have been touched by these outstanding individuals and organisations, some of whom have been toiling away doing this critically important, yet under-recognised voluntary work for decades,” Mr Donnelly said.

“And of course, we have those wonderful people alive today, living fulfilling and complete lives and making a contribution to society, who would not be with us today if it was not for the encouragement, assistance and care that people like you have given their mothers.”

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