Advertisement
  1. News

Scientology and abortion

Published Jun. 13, 2010


Scientology and abortion


The Church of Scientology does not take a position on abortion. However, the subject comes up in the writings of church founder L. Ron Hubbard, which the church regards as sacred scripture.


Scientology counseling seeks to rid the mind of "mental image pictures" or "engrams" created during painful moments in one's past — including previous lifetimes and time spent in the womb.


Hubbard expressed concern about the "prenatal child" and how the emotional traumas of "attempted abortion" can cause problems after the person is born.


Some excerpts from Dianetics:


"Once the child is conceived, no matter how 'shameful' the circumstances, no matter the mores, no matter the income, that man or woman who would attempt an abortion on an unborn child is attempting a murder which will seldom succeed and is laying the foundation of a childhood of illness and heartache.


"Anyone attempting an abortion is committing an act against the whole society and the future; any judge or doctor recommending an abortion should be instantly deprived of position and practice, whatever his 'reason.' "


"A woman who is pregnant should be given every consideration by a society which has any feeling for its future generations."


THETANS AND CONCEPTION


Scientologists believe that man is more than a mind and a body, he is a spiritual being called a thetan, for the Greek letter theta, for thought. That being occupies an endless series of bodies. That's why Scientologists say someone who dies has "dropped his body.''


When does the thetan enter the body? At conception?


Church spokesman Tommy Davis answered: "There is research in Dianetics suggesting that as a fetus grows, perceptions are recorded, beginning the moment of conception and continuing throughout the pregnancy. . . .


"L. Ron Hubbard observed that in most cases the spiritual being takes over the body just prior to birth.''


the 'dynamics'


Several women say their supervisors cited a common refrain to persuade them to abort their pregnancies:


What would be the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics?


That question refers to the eight "dynamics of existence" that Scientologists use to solve life's problems.


Represented by the eight points of the Scientology cross, each dynamic is an "urge" that propels a person through life. First is the urge for self preservation, second is the urge to create a family or have a sexual partner, third is to be part of a group.


The remaining dynamics place one's urge to survive in progressively larger contexts: (4) the human race, (5) all life forms, (6) the physical universe, (7) the spiritual world, (8) infinity.


When addressing problems, Scientologists are to find the best solution for the greatest number of dynamics — even if something must be destroyed for the greater good.


A pregnant woman in Scientology's workforce, the Sea Org, could keep her baby, which under the rules would mean leaving the group. Or she could get an abortion and stay in the Sea Org.


What to do?


Apply the dynamics.


Starting a family would be good for the first and second dynamics. Getting an abortion — getting back to helping the group work on saving the planet — can be seen as satisfying the third.


At issue is what is best for the remaining dynamics. According to several women, church supervisors said the church's well-being was what mattered above all else, across all the dynamics, suggesting abortion was the way to go.


Church spokesman Tommy Davis said there was no pressure on women to have abortions, and he disputed the women's accounts concerning how dynamics were to be applied.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Nicole Kristine Gaskins, 45, died Monday in a single-car crash on I-275. The Wesley Chapel woman was a mother of two. Jeanne Eror
    Wesley Chapel mother Nicole Kristine Gaskins, 45, died Monday when her car drifted off of Interstate 275 and crashed.
  2. FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2017, file photo, death row inmate Rodney Reed waves to his family in the Bastrop County District Court in Bastrop,  Reed is facing lethal injection for a murder he says he didn't commit. The execution was called into question by lawmakers, pastors, celebrities and the European Union. RICARDO BRAZZIELL  |  AP
    The 51-year-old had been set for lethal injection Wednesday evening for the 1996 killing of 19-year-old Stacey Stites.
  3. Discussing sex education on Nov. 15 in Tampa are Christian conservative Terry Kemple, university health services coordinator Linsey Grove, Planned Parenthood outreach educator Paola Ferst and Hillsborough schools physical education and health supervisor Ashlee Cappucci. Not shown: County PTA Council President Damaris Allen. MARLENE SOKOL
    Lessons seek to strengthen students’ communication skills so they can make informed decisions.
  4. Henry "Shake" Washington is running for Hillsborough County School Board for the second time since 2018.
  5. Forensic Science investigators with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office collect evidence at the scene of the shooting behind the Walmart Neighborhood Market, 6900 US Hwy 19 N, in Pinellas Park, on Friday, November 15, 2019. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The victim was a Walmart employee. He was on break at the time of the shooting.
  6. FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2019, file photo, Donald Trump Jr. speaks before the arrival of President Donald Trump at a campaign rally at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File) JOHN MINCHILLO  |  AP
    University of Florida student body president Michael Murphy received a resolution for his impeachment Tuesday. Then the state’s Republican Party started an online petition and fundraiser.
  7. Jeremy Guerrero, 31, was arrested on charges of DUI manslaughter and driving with a license suspended or revoked involving death, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. He's accused of being impaired by methamphetamines when troopers said he caused a crash on Interstate 75 that killed a woman early Friday. Florida Highway Patrol
    The 31-year-old driver faces a charge of DUI manslaughter after causing the crash that killed a 57-year-old woman, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
  8. The $3 billion Water Street project is slated to be complete by 2026 or 2027. How affordable will it be? SHADD, DIRK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    A project executive ticked off many ways the $3 billion project will alter Tampa, but a Cafe con Tampa audience wanted details on what it will cost to live there
  9. A total of 131 employees are scheduled to be laid off in January as Locale Market and Farm Table Cucina close at the Sundial to make way for a new food hall created by the developers of the Heights Public Market at the Armature Works in Tampa. CHRIS URSO   |   TIMES
    In a notice to the state of Florida, Sundial owner Bill Edwards said the layoffs are expected to take place the first week of January.
  10. Investigators say Traci Hudson stole more than $500,000 from a man she had guardianship over.
    Traci Hudson, 51, spent the money on personal purchases ranging from utilities to jewelry to Tampa Bay Buccaneers tickets.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement