Former members of the Church of Scientology are speaking out against the abuses of the church in a new A&E docuseries staring actress Leah Remini, who left the church in 2013. Thus far, “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” has exposed the secretive, cult-like reality of the so-called church; how they keep their highest members obedient and the punishments levied against dissenters from within.
One of the more disturbing revelations of the series came last week, when it was reported that women within the top ranks of Scientology were barred from having children and forced into having abortions the moment top officials became aware of their pregnancy.
As noted by The Federalist‘s Bethany Mandel, who’s been covering the series from its start, The Sea Organization, commonly called Sea Org, “is formed of a cadre of Scientologists who work full-time for the group, and have signed billion-year contracts promising their full allegiance. Unlike regular members like Remini, [Sea Org members] lived and breathed Scientology, day in and day out. They worked for Scientology full-time, and lived in Scientology-owned property.”
Sea Org members are immediately scheduled to kill their unborn children if found out be pregnant, said former Scientologist Claire Headley, an interviewee on the docuseries. According to Headley, “Sea Org was ‘no kids allowed,’ and that if a woman were to get pregnant, they would ‘instantly’ be scheduled to have an abortion. If the woman refused, she would then be shunned, separated from her husband, and forced to engage in heavy manual labor,” notes Townhall.
In the latest episode of the docuseries, Headley told her personal story of being forced into aborting her own unborn child, which she says she still regrets to this day. Headley, who was married to another Scientologist at the ripe old age of 17, told Remini that a medical officer summoned her to abort her child as soon as her pregnancy was confirmed.
“I absolutely swore that I would never have an abortion. I wanted kids. But next thing I know, I missed a period so I had to see the medical officer,” said Headley. “And sure enough, it was positive and she said, ‘Well you’re going to need to get an abortion.’ …And meanwhile I’m dying. It’s a worst fear come true. Some wounds you can’t heal. Of course, now I have three beautiful children who are my life. But it doesn’t make it easier to deal with it. It doesn’t make it any easier, ever. It doesn’t make me feel better about not being strong enough to tell them to go f— themselves.”
Headley is not the only woman publicly claiming to have been coerced into an abortion by Scientology officials. As noted by Townhall, “Astra Woodcraft, one of the admins on an ex-Scientologists website, left Sea Org rather than abort her child, and knows of several women who were forced to abort their children.”
The Church of Scientology maintains their tax exempt status.