A pregnant Somali refugee who came to Australia to have an abortion has reportedly been deported without medical treatment, Yahoo News reports. According to her lawyers, the woman known as ‘Abyan’ had been at Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre since Sunday, while she awaited treatment after she was allegedly raped at Nauru’s detention centre two months ago.
Lawyer George Newhouse today confirmed to media Abyan had been sent back to Nauru without the abortion. It’s believed the government secretly flew her out of Australia to escape a court injunction. The Guardian reported it was an attempt to escape the reach of the Australian courts.
Since Abyan’s pregnancy was known she has pleaded with Australian authorities to allow her to come to Australia and terminate the pregnancy. Due to restrictive abortion laws in Nauru and PNG, there was nowhere offshore that she could have the medical procedure.
On Sunday Abyan arrived in Australia, where she was held at Villawood. She confided in friends that she feared being sent back to Nauru. “I cannot go back to where this happened to me; I cannot go to where I was raped. “What happened to me there [in Nauru] is what caused me to run away from Somalia. What happened to me in Somalia is what happened to me there [in Nauru],” she said.
It’s believed Abyan had a medical appointment booked on Thursday, however she declined to attend. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection reportedly took her non-attendance as refusal to have the termination. However advocates assisting Abyan said this was untrue and that she had requested more time to decide.
Abyan had asked to see a counsellor but the request was not granted, according to the Guardian. On Friday she was forcibly removed from Australia. Lawyer George Newhouse, who is acting for Abyan, wrote to the department before Abyan was removed from the country.
“Our client has not decided to refuse a termination and you have completely misunderstood or misconstrued her position which is as set out in my letter … of 14 October 2015,” he wrote. “Our client has the right to counselling before a termination and to understand the procedure, that is all we have been seeking and to represent her position as a refusal is disingenuous and cruel.”
Abyan’s lawyers sought an injunction against her removal in the federal court before Justice Jacqueline Gleeson. However, they were told Abyan had already left the country and was flown by chartered jet to Solomon Islands capital Honira.
The government planned to return her to Nauru on Friday night.