A group of pro-abortion activists stripped down to their bras and underwear during a Sunday service at Pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas to protest the potential reversal of Roe v. Wade.
The protest took place immediately after Osteen’s opening prayer during the 11 a.m. service.
Austin-based activist organization Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights spearheaded the protest. The group calls for “abortion on demand and without excuses” and proclaims on its website that “forced motherhood = the enslavement of women”. The group also pledges to “brutally stop the cogs of society before allowing the Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade.”
The blast followed a leak of a draft initial majority opinion by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organizationwhich indicated that the court might have to revoke the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
A video of the incident shared on social media by Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights shows that after Osteen concluded the opening prayer by proclaiming “God bless you”, a woman removed her dress and undressed until to her underwear which included a bra adorned with green handprints and panties with red dye on the crotch to represent blood. She turned to face the congregation, shouting, “It’s my body, my f——choice.”
“It’s my body, my choice!” she repeated. The video unfolded to show two other women seated next to the first protester who also took off their clothes as the pro-abortion chants continued. One of the pro-abortion activists exclaimed “Oveturn Deer? Surely not!”
As the women shouted “I have a choice”, security guards escorted them off duty as much of the Lakewood congregation cheered. As the protest unfolded, Osteen continued to speak onstage, remark that “God is good and He is enthroned and in control.” Osteen reminded the congregation that “we love everyone”, predicting that “as long as I keep talking, you can’t hear what everyone is saying”.
Julianne D’Eredita, 21, told the Catholic News Agency that she and 12 other activists had been arrested by police and would be charged if they returned to Lakewood. The demonstrators then conducted a “Rally for the right to abortion” outside Lakewood Church which started at 12:15 p.m.
During the rally in front of the church, D’Eredita shouted into a microphone, proclaiming that they had interrupted the service because “Christians are not afraid to disturb us in health clinics, in doctors’ offices [where women are] trying to get essential health care…why the hell wouldn’t we bother you in your own house where the laws come from?
Another protester insisted that “7 million women and others of childbearing age are forced against their will if they were to become pregnant to carry that pregnancy to term.” She cited the United Nations and Amnesty International when she called ‘forced pregnancy’ a ‘crime against humanity’. She then referenced the Texas Heartbeat Act which prohibits abortion once a baby’s heartbeat can be detected.
“It causes psychological and physiological terror and trauma and that is not acceptable,” she added. “Wielding the Bible as a weapon to control women’s free choice is not the way to welcome believers in Christ,” another woman shouted, adding that the reversal of Roe vs. Wade would result in “women joining the satanic temple as a safety net” for abortion rights.
The Satanic Temple has pushed back against the Texas Heartbeat Act, calling it an “excessive burden” for its “satanic abortion ritual,” in violation of the state’s religious freedom law.
According to CNA, D’Eredita claimed that she once attended Lakewood Church years ago and “knows Osteen personally.” Neither Lakewood Church nor Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights immediately responded to a request for comment from The Christian Post.
The protest in Lakewood is one of many directed against pro-life churches and pregnancy centers in recent weeks, although many other incidents have involved vandalism or theft.
Whether deer is canceled as planned, individual states would have the ability to decide the legality of abortion. In the absence of deer, 21 states could immediately ban or limit abortion, and 16 states where the right to abortion has been codified in law would continue to allow abortions during most or all stages of pregnancy. Ten other states would likely continue to enforce existing abortion restrictions while three more may soon hold referendums to determine abortion laws in the future.