X-Factor contestant repeatedly refused abortion despite life-threatening cancer diagnosis

A young breast cancer patient on Australia's X-Factor described how her miscarriage caused her to refuse doctors when they urged her to abort her baby to pursue immediate treatment.
Thu Sep 22, 2011 - 9:25 am EST

September 22, 2011 ( - One of Australia’s aspiring singers who is a contestant on the popular reality show X-Factor, revealed to her audience that doctors pressured her to have an abortion when she was diagnosed with breast cancer last year.

“I’ve realized life is super short,” said Pamela Cook, a 30-year-old former schoolteacher from South Australia, during an introduction on Australia’s X Factor. When she arrived on the audition stage last month, she explained to the panel of judges that she had been diagnosed with the disease last year and required immediate treatment.

“I was 16 weeks pregnant when that happened,” said Cook, who teared up as she told her story. “The doctors encouraged me to terminate the pregnancy, but that wasn’t an option for me.

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“They said you’d be much easier to treat if you were not pregnant, but my partner and I had lost a baby the year before, so that just made it not even on the table.”

In an interview with the Sunday Mail, Cook says doctors kept pushing for an abortion after she categorically refused, and told her, “there’s no point in being a mother if you’re dead’.”

Cook was forced to deliver her son Zion 8 weeks early and undergo immediate chemotherapy, an experience she says brought her to the brink. “People say whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but I was pretty close!” she recalled.

“It’s the scariest thing, because you’ve got everything and then there’s the threat of - nothing - you know? And what’s worse than not having a mum?”

Cook quit her job as a schoolteacher, and is now a stay at home mom. “Zion’s doing really well, he’s hit all the benchmarks - which is good, and that’s all that a mom hopes for.”

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