Allow Pregnant Rape Survivor Access to Abortion Services

lachlan fearnley

Target: Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia

Goal: Allow a 23-year-old Somali refugee access to an abortion in Australia.

In July 2015, a 23-year-old Somali woman, known only as “Aryan” in order to protect her privacy, was raped while awaiting processing at one of Australia’s offshore migration detention centers on the island of Nauru. She is now pregnant and wants access to an abortion, which Australian authorities have not yet granted her. Sign the petition and demand that she be allowed access to any medical and psychological services she requires.

Aryan first attempted to reach Australia in 2013, at which point she was transferred to Nauru for processing. She has been living there as a recognized refugee, but conditions in the detention center are harsh: the Moss Review, a recent report published by Australian authorities, details a history of pervasive sexual harassment and assault at the facility.

Aryan was initially granted access to an abortion in Australia–abortions are illegal in Nauru–and was brought to the country in preparation. However, she missed an appointment and was forcibly transferred back to Nauru without her consent. Australian authorities claim that Aryan changed her mind about the abortion after arriving in Australia, but Aryan maintains that this is untrue and that she still wants the abortion. She was not given the opportunity to formally object to her transfer, making the move illegal, Amnesty International reports.

Aryan has the right to make her own decisions regarding her health and well-being, and she has made it clear that she wants an abortion. Sign the petition and demand that the Australian government respect her wishes.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister,

I am writing to express my concern for the health and well-being of a woman known by the pseudonym of Aryan. The 23-year-old Somali refugee is a survivor of rape, and she is pregnant as a result of her assault. She wants to terminate her pregnancy, but was recently transferred from Australia back to Nauru, where abortion is illegal. I implore you to do right by her and allow her access to medical and psychological treatment in Australia.

Aryan escaped from Somalia to Australia in 2013, at which point she was forcibly transferred to the offshore migration detention center on Nauru. Conditions in the facility are poor, with sexual harassment and sexual assault constituting considerable threats. Aryan was raped in July 2015 and has made it clear that she wants to terminate the resulting pregnancy. She was brought to Australia to do so, but after missing an appointment she was sent back to Nauru without being given the opportunity to challenge her transfer in court. Authorities claim that she changed her mind about ending the pregnancy, but Aryan maintains that she wants the abortion.

Aryan has the right to make decisions about her health and wellness, and she must therefore be given access to the services she requires. I urge you to immediately provide her with any medical and psychological treatment she may require.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Lachlan Fearnley

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127 Signatures

  • Maryann Smale
  • Janet Delaney
  • Eric von Borstel
  • ORPHA DESS WILSON
  • Muhammad Kamal
  • Yaedi Ignatow
  • sheila childs
  • Gertie Hunt
  • Holly Hall
  • Katie Richards
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