Abortion

Church of Scientology Forced Abortions, Says The New York Times

| by Jill Stanek

First some background on the cult of Scientology from Wikipedia:

Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices created by science-fiction author L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986), starting in 1952, as a successor to his earlier self-help system, Dianetics. Hubbard characterized Scientology as a religion and in 1953 incorporated the Church of Scientology....

Scientology teaches that people are immortal spiritual beings who have forgotten their true nature. Its method of spiritual rehabilitation is a type of counseling known as auditing, in which practitioners aim to consciously re-experience painful or traumatic events in their past in order to free themselves of their limiting effects....

Further controversy has focused on Scientology's belief that souls ("thetans") reincarnate and have lived on other planets before living on Earth...

Another controversial belief held by Scientologists is that the practice of psychiatry is destructive and abusive and must be abolished....

... Hence, Scientologist Tom Cruise's outburst in 2005 against Brooke Shields for seeking psychiatric help and using anti-depressant meds to overcome postpartum depression.

But apparently the Church of Scientology is not opposed to forced abortions, while maintaining a surface (strangely reasoned) opposition to it.

On March 6 The New York Times published an exposé about abuses within the Church of Scientology that include forced abortion, which appears consistent with previous testimonies...

The defectors say Sea Org [elite corps of staff members who keep the Church of Scientology running, known as the Sea Organization, or Sea Org] members were repeatedly beaten by the church's chairman... pressured to have abortions; forced to work without sleep on little pay; and held incommunicado if they wanted to leave. The church says the defectors are lying....

[T]he Collbrans... could not just up and go....

So [Mrs. Colbran] intentionally conceived a child. She knew that the Sea Org did not allow its members to have children, and she had known women who were removed when they refused to have abortions. She waited until her pregnancy had almost reached the end of the 1st trimester to inform her superiors. It still took 2 months before the church let the Collbrans go, in 2006....

Marc Headley, who belonged to the Sea Org for 16 years... is suing the church for back wages.... His wife, who said the church coerced her into having 2 abortions, has also filed a suit. The couple now have 2 small children.

The church acknowledges that Sea Org members are not allowed to have babies, but denies that it pressures people into having abortions....