I had an abortion at 18, if you have known me any length of time, you know that I don’t keep that fact a secret. It is an area of my life that is very public for the purpose of helping others. I was not forced to have an abortion, though at the time I felt I had no other choice, despite my moral and emotional objections to the act of abortion both as a platform and personally.
Honestly, what I wanted was a time machine but that wasn’t an option. Abortion was an immediate regret that carried with it lasting emotional baggage. Through a series of trainings and my own personal healing journey, I have spent years listening to men and women share their stories. Because I know the pain of that choice, I want to be there for others and also be damn sure it is a choice someone wants before they make it because there is no going back.
I have been weighted down by the percentage of women who have told me the story of their FORCED ABORTION. Only a few stories involved guns, but still they were forced, with threats of divorce or homelessness or shunning. I have heard more pain over a conversation and coffee than anyone should have to hear, yet I am glad to be able to listen. Each story is important and needs to be told. I can't imagine going through abortion and feeling powerless to stop it because you were forced.
Regardless of where you stand at the fence of life/choice arguments, can we all agree that forced abortions are wrong? Its an area of common ground that I believe we should be talking more about and dealing with as a society. I believe both sides of the fence should be able to come together to fight against someone being forced into a choice against their will. We need to be a safe haven for women who do not want to have an abortion.
With all that said, the latest episode of Leah Remini’s documentary about Scientology on A&E dealt with this very subject and found myself in my very own puddle. This series has really been impactful for me. I have studied and taken classes on World religions. I thought I was pretty familiar with the belief systems of most popular religions. This series has blown me out of the water with the depths of deception and abuse that people have faced at the hands of Scientology.
This week’s episode revealed another dark side to this religion. Apparently, it is common practice for women in the SEA Org (a training and career sector of Scientology) to be forced to have an abortion when they discover they are pregnant, because children would be a distraction from their mission. I listened in as a former member and high-ranking employee, who had to escape for her life like someone escaping Nazi Germany, share her pain of being forced to abort her first child after getting married. My heart broke as I was then exposed to other women who have lived this same reality. What kind of religion forces their women to abort?!
I’m already past my desired word count, but I can’t end this post without saying again, forced abortion is wrong and denies choice. Religion should never FORCE you to do anything. If you are having to cut off from your family or abort your child, then do yourself a favor and run the other direction. God is LOVE and that is NOT God!!! Thank you, Leah Remini and all others who are putting their safety on the line to expose this cult for all it truly is. We cannot keep quiet about such heinous acts of abuse against people in the name of religion. I am so glad I serve a God who uses love as his avenue to change the world instead of intimidation and abuse.