Pro-abortion activists have disrupted the Sunday service at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church, removing clothes in the process.
The women, three activists with Texas Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights, stripped down to their underwear and started shouting out, “It’s my body, my choice” from the crowd. They chose the church’s 11am service last Sunday at the Houston megachchurch to gain maximum attention. The women started their protest just as Osteen was beginning to preach.
Shouting expletives and waving pro-abortion slogans, they were escorted out of the building soon after. Osteen held the start of his sermon as the women were removed from the church, staying calm and creating small talk to buy a little time. The women meanwhile continued their chant as they were escorted out of the sanctuary.
Once outside, they joined about a dozen of their fellow activists. The demonstrations, in response to the potential overturning of Roe v Wade, is seeing pro-abortion activists around the country raise their voices in public spaces. The US Supreme Court is expected to hand down its final verdict on Roe v Wade this month.
According to Catholic News Agency, Julianne D’Eredita, 21, of Austin, Texas, told CNA in an interview Sunday that she led the group of 13 activists on behalf of the Austin-based affiliate of Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights, an activist group that calls for protests against pro-lifers and pro-life laws.
The demonstrators were detained by the police and told they would be charged with a crime if they returned, D’Eredita said.
D’Eredita told CNA she attended Osteen’s church as a child and knows Osteen personally. While Osteen has expressed pro-life views in the past, the abortion issue does not play a prominent role in his ministry. D’Eredita said the activist group chose Osteen’s evangelical non-denominational church — whose church building can seat 16,800 — because its broadcasts attract millions of viewers around the world.
Lakewood Church have not issued a statement regarding Sunday’s events.