8 Oct 2015

Concerns for Somali woman on Nauru

8:52 am on 8 October 2015

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

Lawyers for the Somali woman are pleading with the Australian government to bring her to Australia so she can have an abortion because the United Nations says the procedure is illegal in Nauru.

They have reportedly received no reply from either Australia's Prime Minister or the Immigration Minister.

George Newhouse from Shine lawyers says the woman says she was raped in July and time is running out.

"She's lost 10 kilogrammes and she's fourteen weeks pregnant. She is sick, she cannot move. She has not left her room for days, weeks even. And she really is in a terrible psychological and physical state. And she needs this issue to be resolved. It is just cruel and inhumane to leave a woman in this situation."

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The Somali woman is being held alongside hundreds of detainees in offshore refugee processing facilities on tiny Nauru. Photo: RNZ / Walter Zweifel

Yesterday, Australia's highest court began a hearing that will determine whether sending asylum seekers to Nauru for long-term detention is in breach of the constitution.

The case has been brought on behalf of a pregnant Bangladeshi asylum seeker, who was brought to Australia from Nauru because of serious health complications and is now being forcibly returned with her infant child.

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.

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.

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