back to top

This Woman’s Doctor Refused Her Abortion Because She Was “Meant To Be A Mother”

"His response horrified me."

Posted on

Adelaide financial advisor Tamsyn*, 46, fell pregnant while using the contraceptive pill at age 31 and living in Queensland, where abortion remains in the criminal code.

The procedure is only lawful in Queensland if performed so as to “prevent serious danger to the woman’s physical or mental health” but around 14,000 terminations take place there every year involving women who meet the criteria or have doctors who are willing to say they do.

"I knew immediately that I couldn't have a baby, I needed an abortion," Tamsyn told BuzzFeed News.

"I like kids and my nieces and nephews are the apple of my eye but I knew that I would never have any of my own... my partner knew this before we entered into a relationship and he felt the same way."

Tamsyn told her doctor, who had been prescribing her the contraceptive pill for years, that she was pregnant and needed help accessing an abortion.

"His response horrified me," she said. "He said that this was the world’s way of telling me that I was meant to be a mother. That, as a woman, I was supposed to continue this pregnancy."

Tamysn said the doctor then refused to help her find an abortion.

A second doctor "awkwardly muttered to me that [abortion] was possible", gave her an information pack and asked Tamsyn to leave.

The Australian Medical Association advises that doctors who conscientiously object to a procedure must: inform the patient of their objection, continue to treat the patient with dignity and respect and refrain from expressing their own personal beliefs in a way that might cause the patient distress.

The day she went in to a clinic for the procedure, Tamsyn was "harassed and bullied" by protestors who asked her if she knew she "would be a murderer".

"I had an ultrasound done and was then told that I was about seven weeks pregnant. I had the procedure done that day."

Tamsyn remembers the post-op area had the "opposite" atmosphere to the waiting room where she sat alongside other anxious women.

"All the women there were openly relieved and overjoyed to no longer be pregnant. We had our lives, our planned futures and our bodies back."

"It was one of the happiest moments of my life."

Tamsyn said she is now happily single and child-free.

"The two doctors I saw were disgraces to their profession."

Legislation to decriminalise abortion in Queensland is currently on the backburner after it was referred to the state's Law Reform Commission in February.

* Name has been changed to protect privacy.

Gina Rushton is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Gina Rushton at gina.rushton@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.