Forced Abortions and The Church Of Scientology

GlossLip - Forced Abortions One Of The Many Abuses From The Church Of Scientology

Last night I had the pleasure of interviewing Astra Woodcraft and her father Lawrence for our Glosslip Radio show on the BlogTalkRadio.com network. Both Astra and Lawrence were in the Church of Scientology’s most devout group called the Sea Organization and members who join must sign a billion-year contract. Being part of the Sea Org means devoting your life completely to Scientology and turning over total control to the Church. Apparently this also includes your reproductive life as well.

Astra told of being very young and having come down with a bad flu. As she lay feverish and alone she begged for a mother who refused to be by her daughter’s side because she had important work to do for the Church. Astra, too young to understand how “clearing a planet” could take precedent over her need to be comforted by her mother, was forced to endure terrible hardships that “celebrity” adherents of Scientology wouldn’t DARE dream of imposing on their own families.

Astra described a world where she was forced to get married at age 15 simply because she was seen kissing a fellow Scientology member outside her dorm: cramped living quarters she shared with fellow child members of the Sea Org. With Astra’s days filled with manual labor, a sparse diet consisting of rice and beans for every meal, and religious indoctrination classes; stealing a kiss must have seemed liked a welcome respite from Astra’s harsh reality.

So at age 15, Astra was sent to Las Vegas to be married to her first crush due to the strict rules of sexual relationships for those in the Sea Org. Making only $11 dollars a week and being forced to pay for all of life’s luxuries like soap, shampoo and any other toiletries left virtually nothing to be used in the way of birth control. The Church of Scientology did NOT provide the basics to these “forced couples” and now that she was married, Astra was a ticking time bomb for becoming pregnant.

As could be expected now at age 19 and already married for 4 years, Astra found herself pregnant. When she informed those at the Church of her pregnanct, she was presented with two choices; have an abortion, or be cut off from all of her family including her mother, sister, brother and husband. Astra’s father had already left he Sea Org and was quietly playing by the rules so as not to lose contact with his children. This was the life-line Astra needed to save her unborn child an unfair fate.

Astra left the Sea Org and was forced to endure endless months of security checks (sec checks) on an e-meter (a glorified lie detector test), her husband divorced her and she was disconnected from her mother, sister and brother. Astra was declared a suppressive person and ex-communicated from the Church. Oh and they tried to give her a bill for $89,000 for all her unpaid “auditing and sec check” sessions. A small price to pay for her daughter Kate, now the life and joy for Astra and grandfather Lawrence.

In many ways, Astra becoming pregnant with Kate wasn’t just a blessing of life’s greatest joy, a precious child, but also her escape out of a dangerous, oppressive, fascistic cult. The same can not be said for the van-loads of Sea Org girls carted to Planned Parenthood by the Church to have these “unwanted” pregnancies take care of. There’s no time for parenting when you have a planet to clear. The life of countless unborns is a small, insignificant price to pay when you are saving the world from the evils of psychiatry right?

I just want to state for the record, I am pro-Choice. This means I feel under pretty strict circumstances (no partial birth or late term abortions unless absolutely medically necessary to save a woman’s life) abortion should be legal, and with our own Supreme Court drawing the line as to when life begins at somewhere around 20 weeks, that should leave plenty of time to decide the best course of action for a woman to make about how to proceed with her pregnancy. Abortion should be your last choice, but it should be YOUR choice to make. It should never be forced. That’s even more wrong that banning abortions outright, and I feel *really* strongly about being pro-Choice.

Where’s the outrage? Where are these religious-right folks when it comes to a fellow “religion” not only condoning abortion, but practically forcing it on its members? Oh the hypocrisy is astounding, and the cowardice stifling

Original Link (includes video)