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 occurred immediately following Osteen's opening prayer during the 11 a.m. service.
The Austin-based activist organization Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights spearheaded the protest. The group calls for “abortion on demand and without apology” and proclaims on its website that “forced motherhood = female enslavement.” The group also vows to “bring the gears of society to a grinding halt before we allow the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.”
The outburst followed a leaked initial draft majority opinion from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which indicated that the court might be set to revoke the 1973 Roe v. 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 stripped down to her underwear which included a bra emblazoned with green handprints and panties with red dye on the crotch to represent blood. She turned around to face the congregation, shouting, “It’s my body, my f------ choice.”
“It’s my body, my choice!” she repeated. The video panned out to show two other women sitting next to the first protestor who also removed their clothes as the pro-abortion chants continued. One of the pro-abortion activists exclaimed “Oveturn Roe? Hell no!”
As the women yelled “I have a choice,” security guards escorted them out of the service as much of the Lakewood congregation cheered in applause. As the protest unfolded, Osteen continued to speak on stage, remarking that “God is good and He’s on the throne and He’s in control.” Osteen reminded the congregation that “we love everybody,” predicting that “as long as I keep talking, you can’t hear what everybody else is saying.”
Julianne D’Eredita, 21, told the Catholic News Agency that she and 12 other activists were detained by police and told they would be charged if they returned to Lakewood. The protestors then led a “Rally for Abortion Rights” outside Lakewood Church that began at 12:15 p.m.
Houston! Get to Lakewood Church ASAP! Rally on Edloe St & City Club Dr.— TX4ABORTION (@tx4abortion) June 5, 2022
Break the silence! We refuse to let the Supreme Court overturn Roe V Wade.#green4abortion#riseup4abortionrightspic.twitter.com/bQ5uGKpNiK
During the rally outside the church, D’Eredita shouted into a microphone proclaiming that they disrupted the service because “Christians are not afraid to bother us at healthcare clinics, at doctors’ offices [where women are] trying to get essential healthcare ... why the f--- wouldn’t we bother you in your own home where the laws are coming from?”
Another protestor insisted that “7 million women and other people of reproductive age are being 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 characterizing “forced pregnancy” as a “crime against humanity.” She then referred to the Texas Heartbeat Act that prohibits abortion once a baby's heartbeat can be detected.
“This causes psychological and physiological terror and trauma and it is not OK,” 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 overturning of Roe v. Wade would result in “women joining the Satanic Temple as a safety net” for abortion rights.
The Satanic Temple pushed back against the Texas Heartbeat Act by characterizing it as an “undue burden” on their “Satanic Abortion Ritual” in violation of the state’s religious freedom law.
According to CNA, D’Eredita claimed that she previously 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 at Lakewood is one of several directed at churches and pro-life pregnancy centers in recent weeks, although many of the other incidents involved vandalism or theft.
If Roe is overturned as expected, individual states would have the opportunity to decide on the legality of abortion. In the absence of Roe, 21 states could immediately move to ban or limit abortion and 16 states where the right to abortion has been codified into law would continue allowing abortions throughout most or all stages of pregnancy. Another 10 states would likely continue enforcing existing abortion restrictions while three others could soon hold referendums to determine abortion law moving forward.