Laura DeCrescenzo Is Suing Church of Scientology Over Forced Abortion, Is This Standard Scientology Practice?

Scientology is many things to many people, with the elite of Hollywood willing to sometimes pay millions of dollars in order to find answers as well as further their careers, but does the Church of Scientology condone forced or coerced abortions as standard practice?

The Inquisitr has reported that Louis Theroux spent three years researching the Church of Scientology before documenting the bizarre practices of Scientologists for his documentary film, My Scientology Movie, which aired on the BBC in October.

While most Scientologists were unwilling to speak with Theroux when he was working on his movie, with some even going so far as to block access to public roadways while filming was being done, some ex-Scientologists were willing to speak with him. Unfortunately, Scientology’s stance on coerced abortions never arose during this documentary film.

The Church of Scientology's E-meter and books at the Church of Scientology's community center in Los Angeles, California.
The Church of Scientology's E-meter and books at the Church of Scientology's community center in Los Angeles, California. [Image by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]

However, there are some ex-Scientologists who have gone on record with claims that the church forced them into having unwanted abortions. LAist reported back in April that an LA County Superior Judge issued a ruling which stated that a Scientologist who believed she was coerced into having an abortion would be able to take her case to trial.

The woman in question in this particular case is Laura DeCrescenzo, who was only six years old when the world of Scientology was forced upon her, as Broadly reports. When DeCrescenzo was just 12 years old, she joined the Church of Scientology’s famed Sea Organization, a labor camp of sorts where members don the attire of those at sea and commit themselves fully to a billion year contract with Scientology work.

Court documents allege that Laura DeCrescenzo was forced into having an unwanted abortion. She stated that she while she had been using birth control pills, she stopped shortly before falling pregnant at age 17. What measures did the Church of Scientology use to force Laura to have an abortion? They threatened her with expulsion and homelessness, as well as the loss of her job.

“Plaintiff had been working for far less than minimum wage, had no money, no car, no place to call her own, and no medical insurance or coverage. Plaintiff felt trapped and without viable options.”

According to tenets of Scientology, if DeCrescenzo had lost her job she would be forced to pay what is known as a “freeloader debt” to pay for all of her previous “training.” While Laura remained with the Church of Scientology out of abject fear for the next 12 years, the idea that the church had forced her into having an abortion must never have left her mind.

The Church of Scientology was not at all pleased when Laura DeCrescenzo brought her case to court. An attorney for the church, Bert Deixler, doesn’t believe that the legal system has any place when it comes to investigating and settling matters that revolve around the practices of Scientology.

“We do not have the civil courts investigate religious practices.”

It is alleged by ex-Scientologists that forced or coerced abortions occur because women are treated as a sort of productive slave force and keeping them from falling pregnant is thought to maximize the labor of females. How many other women have been forced to endure abortions through the Church of Scientology? Probably more than you might think.

With the investigation in 2009 by the Tampa Bay Times, known as “The Truth Rundown,” the world learned that Scientology’s Sea Organization exclusively forbids its members from falling pregnant and bearing children. Because of this investigation, the previous spokesman for the church, Tommy Davis, was forced to admit that children were strictly forbidden.

The Purification Center at the Church of Scientology Community Center in Los Angeles, California.
The Purification Center at the Church of Scientology Community Center in Los Angeles, California. [Image by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]

The Village Voice has reported that a woman named Claire Headley also filed her own suit against the Church of Scientology at about the same time as DeCrescenzo’s case, alleging that she had undergone two forced abortions. Laura Dieckman and Sunny Pereira were other women who also went public with their testimony of coerced abortions undergone at the hands of the Church of Scientology.

Lest you think it is merely a handful of disgruntled ex-Scientologists who are claiming that they were forced into undesired abortions, even a Sea Organization officer named Gary Morehead admitted that it was his duty in the Scientology organization to “intimidate” women and convince them to abort their babies.

As we listen to the testimony of so many women and even men that have been closely involved with Scientology, we can only wonder about the Church of Scientology’s official stance on forced abortions as they appear to coerce women into having them on many occasions, which would make it fairly standard procedure.

[Featured Image by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]