ACM Calls for Pregnant Woman Held on Nauru to be brought to Australia

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The ACM is highly concerned to hear that a pregnant woman experiencing multiple complexities, is currently held in detention on Nauru and is being denied the health care she needs. 

The woman is 35 weeks’ pregnant, her baby is in the breech position, she has a large fibroid or benign tumour on the wall of her uterus and is receiving treatment for mental health issues. The Guardian reports that she has previously had a miscarriage on Nauru.

We call on the government to transfer her immediately to one of our excellent Australian public hospitals where she can receive the care she desperately needs and deserves from midwives and obstetricians.

We support the calls made by our colleagues at RANZCOG and the AMNF to bring her to Australia and ensure she is given the best possible care.

Professor Caroline Homer, ACM President said: “We will not stand by and allow this woman to be left on Nauru in detention at a time when she needs to be cared for and supported to complete her pregnancy and give birth safely. Access to high quality maternity care is a human right for all women and their babies. We urge Prime Minister Turnbull to bring her here immediately.”

We repeat our calls to the government to end mandatory detention for women, babies and families. 

The ACM believes that the immigration detention environment is inappropriate for the mother, newborn baby and family during the pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period because of negative impacts including the potential for increased mental health disorders in the mother; reduced growth and development of the baby; reduced attachment between mother and baby; and impediment of the mother’s ability to develop parenting skills.*

Women, whatever their visa status or situation must be treated with compassion, respect, dignity and cultural sensitivity without discrimination.

*Australian Human Rights Commission. The Forgotten Children: National Inquiry into Children in Immigration
Detention (2014): andrefugees/publications/forgotten-children-national-inquiry-children