>> True Information: This is patently false. At no time has any Church staff member been “forced” by the Church to obtain an abortion.
Although the footnote in Wright’s book mentions that the Church denies pressuring anyone to have an abortion, what he fails to note is that his source for this information, Claire Headley, included this claim in her lawsuit which was dismissed on summary judgment.
More importantly, any pressure on any woman to have an abortion would be against the Church’s fundamental religious beliefs and policies. Intrinsic to the Scientology religion is the deepest respect for the family and for family life. Procreation and the rearing of children are a part of life—included in the eight dynamic urges to exist that manifest themselves in all people. The eight dynamics are fully explained at scientology.org/what-is-scientology/basic-principles-of-scientology/eight-dynamics.html
Following are excerpts from a number of sworn Affidavits that illustrate this point [the affiants’ names have been removed to protect their privacy]:
Statement #1 - 29 November 2009
“In 1991 I married [name]; both of us were members of the religious order of the Church of Scientology, called the Sea Organization. In 1992 I became pregnant with our first child, at this time we were both Senior Executives. We had, over the years, visited my husband’s family in his home town in Perth, Western Australia. We decided that we would like to bring up our child in Perth rather than in Sydney. We therefore made the necessary arrangements and we transferred to the Church of Scientology in Perth, [my husband] as the Executive Director and I as the Deputy Executive Director. Since that time we have been and still are Senior Executives in the Church of Scientology, Perth.
“In the 25 years that I have been a Scientologist and Executive of the Church of Scientology I have not known of any instance of anyone being coerced into having an abortion. Nor do I know of anyone to whom this idea has been suggested or alluded to. Nor at anytime as a member of the religious order of the Church of Scientology called the Sea Organization did anyone ever suggest, mention or allude to the idea of me having an abortion.
“I would like to add that in the time when I was a Senior Executive in Sydney, part of my duties was to look after the personnel in the Sea Organization and never did I or anyone else ever suggest or allude to any idea that a fellow Church staff member, who became pregnant, should or even could have an abortion.”
Statement #2 - 30 November 2009
“When I got married to my husband the parishioners and staff of the Church were very happy, as we were. When I conceived our first child everyone of the Church of Scientology was very supportive and excited for the both of us. In fact we received cards and calls of congratulations on both of the joyous occasions. We have since had two more children and the story is likewise —we have had nothing but the support and encouragement of the Executives and staff of the Church of Scientology as well as the members of the Church.
“Not at any stage did any executive, staff or member of the Church of Scientology make any comments that I should have an abortion or make a submission to the Church for money to get an abortion. I consider this claim to be outrageous.”
Statement #3 - 4 December 2009
“I met my husband of 23 years while in Sydney. We were both members of the Sea Organization. I discovered that I was pregnant with my first son. At this time I would like to make it clear that no one ever approached me about having an abortion or even hinted that I should do anything other than have the child I was carrying. My many friends in the Sea Organization were happy that we were expecting. [my son] was born on 9th August 1989.
“Shortly after [my son] was born, I discovered that I was again pregnant—3 months later. My pregnancy was interesting to say the least with a young baby to care for and all the adventures of being a new mum—but my husband and I rolled up our sleeves and got on with it. At no time did having an abortion ever cross my mind and no one within the Church ever suggested it. In fact the only person who did suggest it was the Doctor who told me I was pregnant, he said it was an option I could take—I left his office in tears at the suggestion. [my son] was born on the 3rd of August 1990.
“A year or so later I fell pregnant with my only daughter. At this time I took a break as a staff member and just concentrated on being a mother again and took care of my family. Again, my friends were very excited that I was going to have another baby—with the usual jokes of ‘don’t you know what causes them yet?’ My friends from the Church threw a baby shower towards the end of my pregnancy, an evening of celebration of new life and importance of sharing this with friends. After [my daughter] was born I resumed duties as a staff member for the Church.
“On 15th of August 1996 our youngest, [son], was born. Again all of my friends were happy that our family was expanding and a few friends were beginning to wonder if we were ever going to stop having children!
Again there was no suggestion or hint that I should or could have an abortion from any Church staff member. I regard motherhood as one of my great achievements in life. All of my children are happy healthy kids.”
Statement #4 - 15 March 2010
“In 2008 ... The doctor gave me a document giving me the approximate due date of my baby and I gave that to a Church staff member. She asked me what I wanted to do and I said that I did not want to terminate the pregnancy so she helped me start the steps to leave staff. There was no other discussion of terminating the pregnancy or abortion or anything else similar. No one tried to get me to change my mind or pressure me to do anything else. No one tried to talk me out of having the baby, it was treated as a situation that occurred and now we had to accomplish the steps for my husband and I to leave staff, which steps were done quite rapidly.
“Due to my previous staff position at FSO [Flag Service Organization], which was to oversee the spiritual enhancement of FSO staff, I knew that there were others who had been in situations like mine where they were Sea Org members who got pregnant. I know for a fact that it was made very clear to them that what they wanted to do about their pregnancy was completely up to them and their choice. No one was to urge them otherwise and to my knowledge, no one did; in fact throughout my tenure of the above position, it was practice to make sure the individual who was pregnant knew that whatever their decision was, it was completely their decision to make.”
Statement #5 - 16 March 2010
“I started as a Sea Organization member in 1989 and was a member until 2007.
“In early 1994, I became concerned that I was pregnant and I went to see another staff member who had me do a home pregnancy test. The test came out positive so that staff member sent me to Planned Parenthood to get the test confirmed; I went there, and my pregnancy was then confirmed.
“At one point, that same staff member mentioned the possibility of terminating my pregnancy (as my mom also did), but when I told this staff member I did not want to terminate my pregnancy, she did not pressure me or demand that I do so and it was clear to me that the decision was strictly between me and my husband. We decided to keep the baby and started making arrangements to go to a Class V Church of Scientology as that was what was done with Sea Org members who were expecting a baby at that time. I also spoke to my sister, who was also a staff member at CSI and she was very supportive of my decision to have my child.
“When I was still doing the steps that I needed to do before transferring to a Class V Church, the Chairman of the Board of RTC, Mr. David Miscavige, stopped by to see me as he knew I was expecting a baby and I knew him personally from the time when I worked at RTC. He made a point of checking to see how I was doing and to wish me well. He was very kind and I appreciated him taking the time out of his busy day to see me and express his good wishes.
“I got through my steps to leave CSI fairly quickly and some staff I had worked with did not have a chance to give me a baby shower that they had wanted to do for me.
“My then-husband and I moved to Chicago and I later received a package from those staff I had worked with and the package had a number of baby outfits, some blankets and various other presents. It was a very beautiful thought from my friends and I appreciated their gesture.”