7 Oct 2015

Australia refuses abortion for raped refugee

5:01 pm on 7 October 2015

Australia is refusing to grant an abortion to a Somali woman who was raped after Canberra sent her to Nauru.

The 23-year-old refugee says she was raped on Nauru and is now 11 weeks pregnant.

Lawyers acting on her behalf have asked the Australian government to fly her back to Australia for a possible termination, but have reportedly received no reply from either the Prime Minister or the Immigration Minister.

A gynecology professor, Caroline de Costa, says the woman, who is under the care of the government of Australia, should be transferred without delay to Australia to a service where she can have appropriate care to make an informed decision.

She says if this woman's story is correct she would be lawfully entitled to a termination of pregnancy in any jurisdiction in Australia except South Australia.

Australia's opposition leader Bill Shorten has told the ABC that it's a travesty if the raped woman cannot obtain an abortion in Australia.

Last week, the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said he was alarmed that two women on Nauru had been raped after they requested Australia to help.

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Photo: RNZ / Walter Zweifel