Over the past decade, one of the most heartbreaking things to witness as a former ’90s kid has been the decline of Britney Spears. The iconic pop star we all used to watch perform masterfully choreographed dance moves suddenly became the object of tabloid fodder and now posts strange and often disturbing self-made videos on Instagram.
There are plenty of reasons why Spears may have had a highly publicized mental breakdown. The 2021 documentary “Framing Britney Spears” detailed how the singer’s quick rise to fame and infamous erratic behavior in the early 2000s — of course all caught on camera by the paparazzi — ended with her being under an arguably abusive conservatorship by her father, Jamie Spears. The conservatorship ended in November of 2021.
But now, with the upcoming publication of Spears’ memoir, The Woman in Me, what could be another disturbing reason for the singer’s decline has come to light. According to People Magazine, which broke the story, Spears felt pressure to have an abortion during her relationship with Justin Timberlake in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
From an excerpt of her memoir obtained by People, it sounds like it was not Spears’ idea to undergo an abortion.
“It was a surprise, but for me, it wasn’t a tragedy,” said Spears of the pregnancy. “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. 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.”
It’s also evident that Spears feels a lot of regret and pain from her abortion. The singer continued, “[T]o this day, it’s one of the most agonizing things I have ever experienced in my life.”
Spears’ story is tragic but, unfortunately, isn’t rare in American culture today. Many women report feeling pressured into undergoing abortions they do not want and losing children they’ve always wanted to have. According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, around 60 percent of women who have had abortions “report high levels of pressure to abort from one or more sources.” This should be an eye-opening and disturbing statistic for anyone who claims to value women’s “choice.”
But what is worse is that many of these women — and even women who did not feel pressure to abort — experience trauma because of their abortions. A 2011 study showed that women who’ve had abortions are 37 percent more likely to have depression. That’s not to mention the anecdotal evidence of countless women’s stories of feeling extreme regret and distress after their abortions.
But, for years, pro-abortion activists have told us that any trauma or adverse mental health effects as the result of an abortion are nothing but pro-life propaganda. And yet thousands of women, even international pop stars, must suffer in silence. Some pro-abortion sources are even touting Spears’ revelation as a so-called pro-choice statement.
The X (formerly Twitter) page We Testify shared a graphic featuring the above quotes from Spears about the pain her abortion caused her with the caption: “Everyone deserves support during their pregnancy decisions and to make the decision that is right for them.”
But based on the quote from Spears’ memoir, her abortion didn’t seem like something she thought was “right for her.” As Spears writes, “If it had been left up to me alone, I never would have done it.”
Around 2009, fans began the “Free Britney” movement that demanded the singer’s conservatorship end. They painted a picture of a young woman who, on the surface, had everything but in her private life felt trapped and ultimately had no agency over her own personal and professional decisions. Her father’s conservatorship even separated her from her two sons and forced her into a demanding Las Vegas residency.
It seems Britney Spears never felt like she had a choice — as it turns out, even over the life of her own child. Sadly, many women who undergo abortions feel the same way.