Abyan does want an abortion, "just not in Australia".

The 23-year-old Somali woman is now back in Nauru.

The pregnant Somali refugee known as “Abyan” has given an interview to an Australian newspaper and has reportedly said that she does want a termination of her pregnancy just not in Australia.

The 23-year-old Somali woman, who was a victim of alleged rape on Nauru, is 15 weeks pregnant.

Last week she was flown to Australia for five days on the understanding she was considering a termination of her pregnancy. The young rape victim did not under go the procedure, instead being secretly rushed out of the country on a $130,000 RAAF flight late on Friday.

Protestors in Newcastle call for Abyan to be given the choice to return.

The government says she was removed from Australia because she changed her mind and did not want the termination.

But Abyan said yesterday in a signed statement that this was untrue: “I was raped on Nauru … I have been very sick.

“I have never said that I did not want a termination.”

Abyan was returned to Nauru last week.

Upon her arrival back in Nauru Abyan (whose real name is being protected) was approached by a reporter from The Australian newspaper.

The Australian reports that the interview took place in a “cramped room” on the island and they asked her whether she still wanted a termination of her pregnancy.

From the report:

“Yes, I still want an abortion,” she said, agitated and distressed by the controversy her case has provoked.

“But I don’t want Australia, I want to go to another country.”

Nauru is a deeply Christian ­nation where the law does not permit abortions. Abyan was flown to Australia last week and then returned to Nauru after, the government claims, she declined to have the termination.

Her future is now unclear. Another possible option for a termination is Papua New Guinea but there is no indication that any ­arrangements or formal requests have been made.

Abyan, 23, speaks little English and initially suggested she would have nothing to say, referring The Australian to her Australian lawyer, but later agreed to be interviewed in her prefabricated home with her Somali roommate assisting with translation.


According to the report, Abyan says she was seen by a nurse when she came to Australia but that “she also felt that she was being rushed.”

The Australian reports that when Abyan was told she could proceed with her termination, she said, her own health became her first priority.


“I was physically and mentally sick,” she said, “and I wanted to make sure I could make my health good first. I did not say ‘no’.”

Abyan was rushed back to Nauru on Friday despite her lawyer filing an urgent injunction to stop her removal.

Abyan statement.

In the statement released by Abyan’s lawyers, Abyan said she did not receive counselling or see a doctor.

“I never saw a doctor. I saw a nurse at a clinic but there was no counselling. I [also] saw a nurse at Villawood but there was no interpreter. I asked but was not allowed to talk with my lawyer,” it read.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton Dutton said that she still could return to Australia for the termination, telling Sky News that the government assessed all refugee health cases on their individual medical evidence, and if Abyan decided she did want to proceed with the termination, doctors and specialist staff would continue consultations with her and offer appropriate medical care.

But the minister said there would be a “tipping point” after which Abyan could not legally have an abortion in Australia.

Mr Dutton told Sky News last night that Abyan made her decision not to get a termination last week “very clear”.

“We’re talking about four or five days of medical consultations and all through that period we had interpreters present, mental health nurses, GPs, doctors…at the end of it the advice to us was that she had decided against the abortion,” he said.

Senate Estimates yesterday looked at whether the immigration department had set an ‘abortion deadline’ on Abyan.


Neil Skill, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s first assistant secretary for detention services said that Abyan declined two medical appointments to discuss the termination.

‘There was no reason for that person to stay in Australia,” he said.

Department secretary Michael Pezzullo also defended the speed of the decision to send her back saying it was reasonable based on facts.

“I don’t think Mr Skill has an abortion deadline and nor does the department,” he said.

The department arranged a RAAF flight as there was a risk of ‘non-compliance and disrupting’ a commercial airline at a cost of $130,000.



“It makes a much broader point that the lack of transparency, the secrecy with which we conduct these detention centres and what goes on in them and of course in our own detention centres in Australia, that is really a core problem and why we really need some form of independent monitoring.”

She said she hoped that with a new Prime Minister Australia’s asylum seeker policies may be “humanised”.

“We have a new Prime Minister, we have a differently constituted Cabinet, we have a Foreign Minister who clearly understands the human rights concerns,” she said.

“I think this is an opportunity now to rethink some of these policies.”