So much for abortion being a woman’s choice.
In her upcoming memoir, pop star Britney Spears reveals she had an abortion—and it wasn’t because she wanted one.
“If it had been left up to me alone, I never would have done it,” Spears writes about her abortion in “The Woman in Me,” reports People magazine.
“And yet Justin was so sure that he didn’t want to be a father,” Spears adds, referring to former boyfriend Justin Timberlake, also a major pop star. (Timberlake, who didn’t immediately respond to People’s request for comment, doesn’t appear to have commented on the story at all, so we are hearing this exclusively from Spears’ perspective.)
Spears started dating Timberlake when she was 17 and he was 18 in 1999, according to NBC. The two singers broke up in 2002.
“To this day, it’s one of the most agonizing things I have ever experienced in my life,” writes Spears.
The baby “was a surprise,” she writes, “but for me, it wasn’t a tragedy.”
“I loved Justin so much. I always expected us to have a family together one day. This would just be much earlier than I’d anticipated,” writes Spears, whose chart-toppers include “… Baby One More Time” and “Oops! … I Did It Again.”
“But Justin definitely wasn’t happy about the pregnancy. He said we weren’t ready to have a baby in our lives, that we were way too young,” she adds.
Sadly, this isn’t a scenario that is unique to pop stars.
In fact, it’s common for women who have an unexpected pregnancy to be pressured by others to have an abortion. A 2023 survey by Charlotte Lozier Institute, surveying women ages 41 to 45, found that a whopping 60% who had abortions felt they faced “high levels of pressure to abort.”
Although that pressure comes from various places, including family and financial circumstances, boyfriends and husbands are sometimes the source of pressure. A quarter of women who had abortions said they felt substantially or highly pressured by their male partner to abort, while another 20% said they felt they were moderately or modestly pressured by their male partner to abort.
Yet the issue of abortion generally is framed by liberals and the corporate media as being about women’s rights.
However, if this is an issue of women’s rights and choices, why do these moms facing unexpected pregnancies have to shoulder so much pressure? Shouldn’t it be their choice?
We’re constantly fed this lie that abortion access empowers women. But regardless of your views on abortion and whether it ends the life of an unborn child, it’s impossible to see that 60% of women who had abortions under pressure indicates a society where women feel empowered to make whatever choice they want.
There are plenty of legitimate ways to empower women, beginning with creating a culture where it is easier for women to juggle education and careers with being moms. We also can start an expectation for men: If you’re having sex with a woman, you need to be ready to step up to be a dad. (Yes, birth control fails.)
We supposedly live in an era of feminism, where women are both honored and free to make their own choices. But Spears’ harrowing story reveals the ugly reality of modern life: We may talk a good game about feminism, but for many women, male pressure still plays a key role in their decision about whether to get an abortion.
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