Three abortion activists stripped down to their underwear in protest to interrupt a Sunday service at pastor Joel Osteen’s Texas megachurch.
After Osteen had finished leading a prayer and congregants began to sit down, the women stood up and began chanting, “my body, my (expletive choice).” Two of the women removed their dresses, with one shouting, “Overturn Roe, hell no!”
The video footage of the protest quickly went viral over Twitter and the 11 a.m. service’s live stream has since been taken down.
The activists, a trio from Texas Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights, were wearing white sports bras with green hand prints on them to symbolize the color representing the pro-choice movement. Security promptly escorted the three women out of the church as many congregants began to cheer at their dismissal.
The women said they opted to protest in Osteen’s megachurch, which draws upwards of 50,000 people regularly, arguing that anti-abortion protesters show up in their safe spaces – doctors’ offices and clinics – to make them feel uncomfortable.
“I know it seems very outrageous to do it in a church in a private space,” activist Julianne D’Eredita told local Houston television station KPRC 2 of the protest, which continued outside the Lakewood Church afterwards. “However, the people who are enforcing these laws have no qualms coming up to women in private spaces such as doctors’ offices and medical clinics to harass them and call them murderers.
— TX4ABORTION (@tx4abortion) June 5, 2022
“Joel Osteen has an international audience and silence is violence when it comes to things like these. We have a very unprecedented and very short amount of time to garner the attention that we need to get millions of people on the streets, millions of people doing actions like we were today.”
The protests come in light of a leaked draft from the Supreme Court opining to overthrow Roe v. Wade, a ruling that would rescind the federal law protecting abortion rights and instead allowing states to set their own laws.