“My boyfriend at the time, and now husband, and I were
shocked,” she told BuzzFeed News.
Lisa, who lives in Queensland’s Central Highlands, wanted to go
back to school to study online so she could begin her own
business while her boyfriend was focused on his career.
“Neither of us were in a stable enough position to start a
family and we had only been together for 10 months.”
“I had been seeing him since I was a child and was confident
that he would direct me to a service provider,” she said.
“I was shocked when my doctor told me that he and his practice,
two other male doctors, didn’t perform abortions, didn’t know
about abortions and also that they would not direct me to
Lisa called her boyfriend and sat on the couch “crying for
“I had never felt so insulted in my life and couldn’t believe
what had just happened,” she said.
Unlike in most other Australian states, abortion is only lawful
in Queensland if performed to “prevent serious danger to
the woman’s physical or mental health”.
“I had no idea that abortion was illegal and I didn’t know that
doctors could just turn you away like that.”
But it isn’t uncommon for women in Queensland to be refused an
abortion by their GP or be turned away from the state’s
according to gynaecologists and abortion providers.
Lisa turned to Google and realised it would “wipe out the last
two months of saving” to pay for the procedure and fund flights
to Brisbane, where she went to a new GP who referred her to a
“I had a surgical abortion and the whole process took half a
day,” she said.
By this stage Lisa was eight weeks pregnant.
“I split the cost with my boyfriend but $750 was a huge sum… I
wasn’t earning much.”
“I don’t see my decision as selfish or cruel and I definitely
don’t see it as a criminal choice,” she said.
Now 27 years old, Lisa supports the bill currently before the
Queensland parliament to decriminalise abortion in the state
because it “shouldn’t be the case” that women in rural or
remote locations have to fly to Brisbane or interstate to have
“I am a happy woman who doesn’t have kids. I’ll have them some
day when I’m ready to start a family.”
*Name has been changed to protect identity.