A former member of the Church of Scientology told actress Leah Remini that she was forced to undergo an abortion while she was a member of the church in an episode of A&E's "Scientology and the Aftermath" that aired Tuesday.
Claire Henley, and her husband Marc, told Remini, also a former member of the Church of Scientology, that they are former members the of the group's Sea Organization, which Scientology's website describes as “a religious order for the Scientology religion and is composed of the singularly most dedicated Scientologists."
Henley said she joined the religion at 16 and was soon transferred to the “Sea Org" facility in Hemet, California.
“It's a heavily guarded property and a lot of secrecy and a lot of control," she said. “You're not allowed to make phone calls without permission or someone listening. ... People would escape frequently."
Henley said that children were not permitted at the facility, and if a woman got pregnant at the facility, she was interrogated about why she wanted to leave. She alleged that women who became pregnant at the facility — including herself — were forced into undergoing abortions. She said one woman had “up to six" abortions.
"If a woman got pregnant, she would instantly be scheduled to get an abortion," she said, adding that women who did not agree to an abortion were forced to do heavy manual labor and were separated from their husbands.
When she told the story about her discovery that she was pregnant, Henley began to cry. “Inside, I'm dying," she said. “It's like, worst fear come true."
Claire and Marc had three children after they left the church in 2005.
“I have three beautiful children who are my life, but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with it," she said.
According to US Weekly, the couple have lost the individual lawsuits they filed against the Church of Scientology, but they want to raise awareness about the allegations of forced abortions, which the church has been accused of before.
The organization states on its website that abortion and birth control “are an individual's personal choice and Scientology parishioners are totally free to decide for themselves."
In a statement provided to US Weekly, a spokesperson for the Church of Scientology said that Remini “is doing this show for the money."
“This shows the extent Leah Remini is willing to go to in order to distort the truth about Scientology," the spokesperson said.