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Women Say Scientology Forced Them to Have Abortions

Lawsuits in federal court also allege labor law violations.

The St. Petersburg Times reports that two former members of the Church of Scientology's elite Sea Organization leadership group have filed lawsuits in federal court, alleging that the church violated labor laws and forced them to abort two children.

Claire and Marc Headley filed separate actions in January 2009. In addition to the abortions, the Headleys allege that the Church created a working environment that constituted forced labor and violated human trafficking laws.

According to the Times, Claire Headley testified in a May 28 court filing that the church threatened her with "heavy manual labor and … interrogation" if she did not have an abortion after finding out she was pregnant in 1994. In 1996, she became pregnant again, and she alleges that she was not even allowed to contact her husband before having an abortion.

She told the paper, "I'd already promised myself the first time that I would never, ever go through with that again," but with the church pressuring her and her husband ...

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