Back in late December 2016, Priests for Life published a blog post detailing Scientology’s frequent use of coercion and intimidation to force couples into abortion among Sea Org members. The church’s Sea Organization, a high ranking level in the hierarchy of the Scientology cult, depends on the heavy labor of its young members. Any interruptions to grueling work hours are resented and “discouraged.” Since church leader Miscavige came on board, having children had been banned for Sea Org Members.
Our blog post came on the heels of A&E network’s airing of the fifth episode of Leah Remini’s show called "Scientology and the Aftermath" featuring the Headley couple. Even though the organization denied any claims of coercing abortions, married couple Marc and Claire Headley told a different story. When Claire discovered she was pregnant at 19, she was isolated and separated from her husband. Scientology auditors interrogated her for hours until they broke her down mentally. According to Headley, abortion was a typical procedure for members of the elite Sea Organization. Children and families would get in the way of the mission of Scientology to “clear the planet.” Uncooperative Scientologists would run the danger of being labeled as “suppressive persons” and cut off from spouses and immediate family forever. Those who escape and are recaptured are assigned to years of hard labor and rationed food.
So, there really wasn’t a choice for Claire. Her abortion was scheduled for her and she was back to work the following day. This happened a second time a few years later. This wasn’t an isolated occurrence. Claire tearfully counted how many women she personally knew who had been mandated to abort and said it was no less than fifty! One woman she knew had six abortions.
Priests for Life interviewed Claire on our radio program twice last year. She told us that since her story went public, she believed Scientology was loosening its strict no-children rule for Sea Org members and she personally knows of about 30 children who had lived because of it.
Earlier this week, whistleblower Tony Ortega published good news on his blog Underground Bunker about yet another one of the many women who had been victim to the forced abortion policies of Scientology. It took nine years of appeals and back-and-forth between Scientology and the woman who brought the lawsuit. But days before the pretrial, Scientology settled.
“Scientology has finally chickened out of actually going through a trial over the forced-abortion allegations of Laura DeCrescenzo. The two sides hammered out a settlement to end the case before trial was scheduled to begin on August 13, more than nine years since Laura first filed her lawsuit,” Ortega reports. According to him, the Los Angeles Times, DeCrescenzo’s hometown paper never once reported on the scandal.
While this is a victory for DeCrescenzo, there are many others who have been bullied into abortions and will not have their day in court. Forced abortion is not just the problem of cults like Scientology or regimes like China’s. It is happening right here in our backyards. I hear the testimonies of these mothers all the time, in my role as pastoral director of Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More, the largest ministries in the world for healing after abortion. Mothers are routinely coerced into abortion by partners, clinic workers, counselors, and others. But the most widespread type of coercion is that which is done by parents to pregnant teens. In fact, the problem of parents coercing teens is the most common according to my friend and colleague, attorney Alan Parker, President of the Justice Foundation.
The Justice Foundation’s “Center Against Forced Abortions” or “CAFA” was created to provide legal resources to mothers who are being forced or coerced into an unwanted abortion. Coercing or forcing abortion is illegal in all 50 states. But Parker believes they are preventable. “We can stop 95 percent to 100 percent of these abortions and provide others with tools to do so.”
The Justice Foundation does this by providing free legal help, resources, legal documents and even one-hour training sessions on their webpage, TheJusticeFoundation.org. Legal documents include letters to parents explaining the criminality of their actions as well as letters to counselors and abortionists. The letters have served as a great deterrent. According to Parker, lawyers from Alliance Defending Freedom have gone to court and have won 100 percent of the time.
On the road to abolishing abortion, and ending the holocaust that is cloaked by the deceptive term “pro-choice,” a great next step to take would be to actually become “pro-choice” for those who want to choose life for their baby but are being forced to abort. For those who value “freedom of choice” and women’s rights, this should be right up their alley.
Fr. Frank Pavone is one of the most prominent pro-life leaders in the world. He became a Catholic priest in 1988 under Cardinal John O’Connor in New York. In 1993 he became National Director of Priests for Life. He is also the President of the National Pro-life Religious Council, and the National Pastoral Director of the Silent No More Campaign and of Rachel’s Vineyard, the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion. He travels to about four states every week, preaching and teaching against abortion. He broadcasts regularly on television, radio, and internet. He was asked by Mother Teresa to speak in India on abortion, and was asked by then-candidate Donald Trump to serve on his Pro-life and Catholic advisory councils. He has served at the Vatican as an official of the Pontifical Council for the Family, which coordinates the pro-life activities of the Catholic Church. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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