21 Aug 2017

Australia halts Nauru detainee abortions

7:08 pm on 21 August 2017

An anonymous whistleblower from Australia's refugee detention centre on Nauru says four detainees have been refused abortions under a new policy.

More than 1000 men, women and children who sought asylum in Australia have been detained on Nauru since 2013.

Asylum seekers in Nauru

Asylum seekers in Nauru Photo: Refugee Action Coalition

The whistleblower said over the past two years, about 15 women had been transported to Australia to have their pregnancies terminated.

Some then sought court injunctions against their offshore detention and are now residing in Australia.

Under the new policy, requests for abortions are now considered by a committee at Nauru Hospital where terminations are illegal.

The whistleblower said the purpose of the policy is to prevent Nauru detainees from settling in Australia.

The four women have mental health problems and giving birth could lead to suicide or self harm, according to the whistleblower.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs