A pregnant Somali woman who was taken to Australia after allegedly being raped on Nauru has denied changing her mind about seeking an abortion.

The woman, an asylum seeker, had been allowed to enter Australia for a termination, which is illegal in Nauru.

But in a note to Australian media, she said she did not see a doctor before being suddenly returned to the migrant detention centre on Friday.

Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton strongly denied her allegation.

He had previously said that on arriving in Australia she decided by herself not to end her pregnancy.

Under Australia’s asylum policy, any undocumented migrants trying to reach the country by boat are intercepted and held in centres on Nauru and Manus Island, Papua New Guinea.

‘Please help me’

The woman – who is only known by her pseudonym Abyan – had asked to be flown to Australia for an abortion.

Mr Dutton said in a statement that on her arrival she had decided against having an abortion so was returned to Nauru.

“The information I have is that the woman in question changed her mind about seeking a termination and was deemed fit to fly,” the minister was quoted as saying on Saturday.

But in her first public comments since arriving on Nauru, the woman dismissed the claim.

In the hand-written statement – seen by the Sydney Morning Herald and Guardian Australia – she said: “I have been very sick. I have never said that I did not want a termination.

“I never saw a doctor. I saw a nurse at the clinic but there was no counselling.”

She also said she saw another nurse, but did not have an interpreter and was not allowed to talk to her lawyer.

“Please help me,” the statement said.

‘Political pawns’

On Monday, Mr Dutton denied this on ABC Radio, saying she had been seen several times by medical and counselling staff, with interpreters on most occasions and had reached her own decision.

He said he would not allow for women in such a situation to be treated as “political pawns” by opponents of Australia’s immigration policy.

Last week, Mr Dutton said that refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru were asking for medical care in Australia in order to try to have their refugee claims processed on the mainland.

He described the behaviour as a “racket”.

The Australian government says its asylum policy deters people-traffickers but there has been been criticism of the conditions at the camps.

In September, a report by a senate committee found conditions on Nauru were not “appropriate or safe”. It said allegations of rape and abuse should be investigated.

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