If Justin Timberlake had not pressured Britney Spears into an abortion, their child would be 23 years old this year. This revelation, which has taken the Internet by storm, proves once again that the abortion industry’s strident insistence that abortion is “just health care” is laughably false. Nobody would care if it was revealed that Spears had undergone any other procedure – but abortion is different. An abortion means that there was a baby. Abortion means that a little boy or girl – half Britney Spears, half Justin Timberlake – existed, very briefly, before being extinguished.
By now the gut-wrenching details are well-known. Pop star Britney Spears and NSYNC boy band heartthrob Justin Timberlake starting dating in 1999 when they were just teenagers, going through a very public breakup in 2002. Timberlake cashed in on his ex’s fame to push his own solo career, making crude comments about her on talk shows and gleefully affirming in one interview that he’d “f-ed her.”
Spears’ years-long public meltdown in the aftermath was covered ad nauseum by the tabloid vultures who feed America’s favorite blood sport: turning stars into idols, and then voyeuristically consuming the details of their downfall. She is now having her say in a memoir titled The Woman in Me, in which she reveals that Timberlake pushed her into aborting a child they conceived together in late 2000. According to Spears, the pregnancy was a “surprise” but not a “tragedy.”
She was happy to be expecting a baby. “I loved Justin so much,” she wrote. “I always expected us to have a family together one day. This would just be much earlier than I’d anticipated. 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 wanted to keep the baby. Justin wanted to abort it, and so under pressure, she took abortion pills. It was the most “agonizing thing I have ever experienced in my life,” Spears says. “If it had been left up to me alone, I never would have done it. And yet Justin was so sure that he didn’t want to be a father.”
After the abortion, she lay “crying and sobbing” on the bathroom floor, cramping painfully while Justin strummed his guitar in an apparent attempt at comfort as she bled their baby.
The tragedy and the trauma of this story are revealing. First is the farce of “choice.” According to a recent Lozier Institute study, nearly 70 percent of women experience some form of coercion during the abortion decision. This was clearly the case here. Spears and Timberlake were fabulously wealthy, and Spears wanted to be a mother – and a mother to his children. She was ready to have a baby and said so. But Timberlake stated that “we weren’t ready to have a baby” – when what he so clearly meant was that he wasn’t ready. More accurately, he wanted to have sex with Spears – something he later boasted about – without being willing to father any family that might result from their relationship.
That, in short, is the essence of the “pro-choice” worldview: Men get sex. Women get abortions. Removing children that result from sex via pills or surgery or suction aspirator isn’t a choice so much as an expectation.
This casts Timberlake’s publicly proclaimed “pro-choice” stance in a particularly ugly light. At a 2008 rally for Barack Obama, for example, he stood beside new girlfriend Jessica Biel as she told the crowd: “Nobody should be able to say what you can do with your body.” Timberlake joked, “I give Jess the right to choose where we go to eat all the time. The funny thing is, what the woman chooses is usually right.” Spears, however, was not given a choice by Timberlake – he wanted her to have their baby aborted. The baby, desired by his or her mother, was given no choice, either. Spears’ choice was right – but the only support Timberlake was willing to offer was strumming his guitar as she sobbed out her grief and loss on the bathroom floor as their child died inside her.
I’ve noted several times that while artists are usually fierce defenders of the abortion industry and insist that abortion is merely “health care,” their music tells us something very different. If you listen to what musicians say, you might think abortion is a simple procedure no different than an appendectomy. But if you listen to what they sing, you hear something very different. Artist after artist sings of pain, loss, and heartbreak. Many of them mention the children that they lost, the babies who lurk on the borders of their consciousness and haunt their art. In their slogans, these artists insist that abortion is health care. In their songs, they tell us the awful truth.
A single released by Spears shortly after her breakup with Timberlake may hint at this loss. David LaChapelle, who directed the music video, has said that “the only direction Britney gave me for the video was that she wanted to die in the video.” “And every time I see you in my dreams I see your face,” she sang. “You’re haunting me. I guess I need you, baby.”