Another former Scientologist came forward with the story of her forced abortion on Leah Remini’s new documentary series “Scientology and the Aftermath” this week.
Claire Headley told Remini how she and other women she knew were forced or coerced into having abortions — and one woman had six. She and her husband, Marc, another former Scientologist, said they both were abused by the religious leaders and later left the religion.
Claire said she joined the religion when she was 16 years old and soon began working for the Scientology Sea Organization. A year later, she married her husband Marc, who was 19 at the time.
“It’s a heavily guarded property, and a lot of secrecy and a lot of control.… You’re not allowed to make phone calls without permission or someone listening.… People would escape frequently,” Claire recalled.
On its website, the order describes its role in Scientology like this: “As volunteers and members of a religious order, Sea Organization members work long hours and live communally with housing, meals, uniforms, medical and dental care, transport and all expenses associated with their duties provided by the Church.”
It was because of people leaving that so many women were forced or coerced to have abortions, Claire said.
Here’s more from US Magazine:
She then said, “If a woman got pregnant, she would instantly be scheduled to get an abortion.” Claire explained that this was because being pregnant while a member of the Sea Organization meant you wanted to leave. Claire revealed she knew people who had “up to six” abortions.
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When Claire recounted missing her period and allegedly being forced into an abortion, she began to cry. She told her story by saying, “Inside, I’m dying. It’s like, worst fear come true.” Through her tears, she said, “I have three beautiful children who are my life, but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with it.” Claire’s children with Marc were all born after the couple left the church in 2005.
Marc said he also was physically abused by Scientologist leader David Miscavige after making a “snide comment.” He said Miscavige pushed him into a desk and punched him.
The couple left the church in 2005 and now have three boys. They said they did tell authorities about the abuse and filed lawsuits against the religious group, but they lost. Now, the Headleys try to spread the word about the forced abortions and other abuses that they experienced in Scientology.
In the past few years, several other former Scientologists also said they were forced or coerced to abort their unborn babies. In 2012, LifeNews reported the Church of Scientology faced criticism after multiple women came forward claiming the religious leaders forced them to have abortions.
Like Claire Headleyy, Laura DeCrescenzo said she also was coerced to abort her unborn child when she became pregnant at age 17.
“I was told by the commanding officer of my organization that, she immediately started telling me at this point the baby wasn’t a baby, it was just tissue,” DeCrescenzo said. “I never agreed to have an abortion. Did I concede? Yes, I did. Does it kill me every day? Yes, it does.”
Samantha Domingo is another example. In 2015, LifeNews reported Domingo said she and other women were treated like “criminals” when they became pregnant and wanted to keep their babies. She said the religious leaders eventually succeeded in manipulating and coercing her to abort her unborn child.
“I bought into it. I had an abortion to prove I wasn’t this evil person, this Satan that everybody was saying I was,” Domingo said.
Domingo said she can never forgive herself for killing her baby. “I murdered a child, that’s the way I look at it, and it will forever live with me that I murdered a child. I will never forgive myself for that, I will never be able to rewrite it,” she said.