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Former Scientologist forced to have abortion wins major legal victory against church

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It took seven years, but a former Scientologist will see her lawsuit against the church — which she says kept her captive and forced her to have an abortion — go to trial, KABC reports.

Laura Ann DeCrescenzo, who began doing volunteer work for the Church of Scientology at the age of six, received good news this week when Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John Doyle denied a motion by lawyers for the Church of Scientology International to dismiss her case.

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DeCrescenzo is suing the church for false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, unfair business practices and wage-and-hour violations, as well as claiming that the church coerced into having an abortion at the age of 17.

According to DeCrescenzo, she was kept a virtual prisoner by the church for years.

“I wasn’t allowed to speak with my family. You’re not allowed to have more than twenty dollars on you at any given time,” explained DeCrescenzo. “You’re not allowed to go anywhere without another person. You’re watched 24/7.”

DeCrescenzo says she remained a member of the church for years after the abortion, stating that church officials psychologically abused her after she became pregnant, telling her that she would be left homeless and unable to find a job and denied the ability to ever see her husband again.

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According to the woman, she finally escaped the church in 2004 when she pretended to attempt suicide by swallowing a cup of bleach.

She abandoned the church for good four years later.

Watch the video below via KABC:

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A veteran teacher explains why Trump is incapable of learning

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While dyslexia has been mentioned now and then as one of the reasons Donald Trump is so ignorant of what it takes to govern in a free society, I want to explore it as foundational to his inability to learn and grow while in office—and also as a way to link disparate troubling elements in his makeup.

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White House pulls new FEMA nominee for barroom brawl — but not for his boss’ bribery

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MSNBC host Rachel Maddow began her Wednesday show detailing that Jeff Byard, President Donald Trump's nominee to lead FEMA, has withdrawn his name from nomination because of an "altercation" previously reported.

Already Trump's FEMA is having problems because of the lead FEMA officials being named in serious bribery scandals. Byard's boss, in particular, is under a 10-count indictment. To make matters worse, a former deputy is also under indictment, but for a completely different case involving a 2013 Navy scandal.

"Any mystery around that part of the guy’s past would have been cleared up this past year in August when he was indicted by a federal grand jury for his alleged involvement in that Navy bribery scheme," Maddow reported. "He was arrested thereafter."

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Right-wing activists call on Mitch McConnell to stop blocking election security bills

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On Wednesday, CNN reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is facing renewed pressure to take up election security legislation, from a pair of unlikely sources: Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, and FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon.

Norquist — who once famously said that he wanted to slash government to a size where he could "drown it in a bathtub" — called for hand-marked paper ballots, and urged Congress to pass something similar to the bipartisan Secure Elections Act, which would have given states incentives to switch to secure voting methods and promoted data-sharing to identify threats. The measure was first introduced in 2017 by Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), James Lankford (D-OK), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), but never came to a vote.

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