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In Scientology and the Aftermath, former celebrity member Leah Remini exposed yet another secret of the cult-like organization: they forced women to have abortions.
Remini interviewed Marc and Claire Headley in a recent episode. The Headleys were members of the Sea Organizations, a cadre of Scientologists who work full-time for the group and have signed billion-year contracts promising their full allegiance, according to the Federalist.
"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," Claire tells Remini.
Claire was a member of the group for almost 30 years. When she was 17, the unthinkable happened.
"I absolutely swore that I would never have an abortion. I wanted kids," Claire says.
But next thing I know, I missed a period so I had to see the medical officer. 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 (obscenity) themselves.
But Claire's is not the only story.
In 2010, The Tampa Bay Times interviewed a handful of young women who claimed they had similar experiences in the cult.
"Most women just did it,'' Sea Organizations ethics supervisor Astra Woodcraft said. "They found out they were pregnant, they went and had an abortion. That's just what they did. They didn't want to get in trouble.''
Jessilyn Justice is the director of online news for Charisma. Born and raised in a pastor's family in Alabama, she attended Lee University and the Washington Journalism Center. She's passionate about sharing God's goodness through storytelling. Tell her what you think of this story on Twitter @jessilynjustice.
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