In the A&E series, “Scientology- and the Aftermath,” Claire Headley, a former member, revealed she was forced into having an abortion because she was in a division of Scientology that forbade children. “If a woman got pregnant, she would instantly be scheduled to get an abortion.” She explained that this was because getting pregnant while a member of the Sea Organization was tantamount to wanting to leave. She also revealed she knew women who had “up to six” abortions. Through her tears, she spoke of regret for acquiescing to their demands, and I can relate in some respects.
At the time, I didn't believe I was aborting a child, neither did my parents. We bought in to the pro-choice rhetoric of it not being a real baby so early on – that it was just “tissue.” Consciously, my buying into that rhetoric worked, but subconsciously the guilt and regret grew, suppressed for over two decades by promiscuity and the abuse of alcohol with devastating results: becoming suicidal and institutionalized. My parents suffered as well, and it took until they were in their 80’s to talk about it and share their remorse, realizing the "tissue" they encouraged me to abort was not only a child, but their grandchild.
The difference between my story and Claire’s is that my fears, however real they felt, were unfounded. She faced isolation from her spouse, other family members and the group as a whole, along with forced manual labor had she not followed their demands. She had seen it happen to other women. During the interview, she said, “Inside, I’m dying. It’s like, my worst fear come true. I have three beautiful children (born after she and her husband escaped) who are my life, but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with it.” The other difference is that I, along with my parents, mistakenly justified the abortions by the pro-choice rhetoric … Scientology doesn’t provide any justification whatsoever. It’s all about manipulation and control of emotionally vulnerable, frightened women.
I am grateful Claire was able to escape and now able to hopefully heal from her experience. I understand the predicament she was in and can only imagine the helplessness she felt. Scientology pushed her into a corner… she had no choice. My heart breaks for her and for all who have been and are still being victimized.
AND, what about the women still behind the razor-wired confines at the Gold Base in Hemet, CA -- those who have had abortions that are suffering in silence? If they express regret to their fellow members, they will be considered blasphemers, questioning the church leadership, thus relegated to God knows what type of punishment. What about those who are pregnant, experiencing the consequences Claire faced?
Scientology is not a church but a cult of control. It has no concern for the emotional well-being of its followers whatsoever. You follow the rules or else. It not only doesn’t want to save mankind as it advertises but further promotes the culture of death.
For those who have left the “church,” struggling with the emotional, spiritual and physical devastation of forced abortion (women and men) – there are healing programs that provide hope and healing. Go to www.silentnomore.com , www.priestsforlife.org or www.rachelsvineyard.org for resources or a program near you.
For all others reading this post, watch “Scientology – and the Aftermath,” and see for yourself. I’m sure you will be shocked and appalled. Then you have a choice. You can remain silent or share the outrage. Contact your legislators and ask for an investigation into Scientology and their reported human rights violations as well as their IRS tax-exempt status as a "church".