Laura Ann DeCrescenzo, a former Scientologist who left the church in 2004, has filed a lawsuit against the Church of Scientology for allegedly forcing her to have an abortion when she was a teen. According to Radar Online, DeCrescenzo was recruited to the religion in New Mexico at age nine and moved away from her family to work for the Church in Los Angeles as a member of the Sea Org at age 12 . Her education apparently did not progress past the 7th grade while working at the church, contrary to what Scientologists had promised her family when she moved away from them. She married at age 16 and then at age 17, she became pregnant; she claims the church did not want her to have a child because they wanted get get more labor out of her. DeCrescenzo’s lawsuit alleges the church threatened to fire her from her job, kick her out of her home, and break her apart from her husband if she didn’t terminate the pregnancy. Additionally, DeCrescenzo’s lawsuit accused the religion of false imprisonment, as the Church of Scientology reportedly restricted her access to TV, Internet, and the telephone, and opened and read all of her mail. Keep reading »
A federal judge has blocked parts of a law that would effectively force Missisippi’s one remaining abortion clinic to shut down. However, the judge allowed certain restrictions of the MS legislature’s new abortion-restricitng law to remain. MS had passed a law, which went into effect July 1, that required doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at a local hospital. OB/GYNs at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization have applied for such privileges, but have not yet been granted them. Last week, a federal judge said the doctors need to acquire their admitting privileges but while they do so, they will not be subject to punishment for breaking the law. Keep reading »
Last month, those of us concerned with reproductive rights were aghast at the story of Feng Jianmei, a 22-year-old Chinese woman who was forced to have an abortion. She and her husband, who have a five-year-old daughter, could not afford the $6,300 fine for violating the country’s one-child policy, so family planning officials forced her into having an abortion. Her husband, Den Jiyuan, told a Chinese newspaper that she was hooded, abducted by being pushed into a car, and forcibly injected with some substance that terminated her pregnancy at seven months along. Her “consent” to the abortion was someone inking her fingerprint onto a document against her will. According to the Guardian, forced abortions and forced sterilizations are technically illegal in China, but they still occur. Last year, a 37-year-old woman named Ma Jihong reportedly died from a forced abortion gone wrong. Keep reading »
What is it like to have an abortion? The Internet can be a crapshoot for honest narratives about the experience. You remember, the Internet, land of grotesque photos of bloody fetuses and rumors that breast cancer is caused by abortion?
A new Tumblr project called I Had An Abortion (not affiliated with the documentary of the same name), organized by reproductive health advocate Steph Herold, seeks to collect stories about abortion experiences which have been published around the web. Keep reading »
Women in in Mississippi can breathe easy, at least temporarily: at the eleventh hour on Sunday night, a federal judge blocked a law that would have effectively closed the state’s only abortion clinic. A law was set to go into effect on Monday that would have required doctors at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. However, that was not going to happen as all four of the clinic’s OB-GYNs live out of state, in part because they, their families and neighbors are horrendously harassed by anti-abortion extremists. Only one of the practicing OB-GYNs has admitting privileges at the local hospital; the others have not been granted them yet. Had the law gone into effect today, women’s access to safe and legal abortions would have been even more impeded as they would have been required to drive out of state, which requires time and money. Keep reading »