We need to talk about Britney Spears.
My heart breaks for this woman for a lot of reasons. Her disturbing displays on social media — her latest involving dancing in lingerie while wielding two butcher knives — being one reason. But the revelations in her new memoir, “The Woman in Me“ is quite another.
This “tell-all” that’s set to officially release next week [link here] has been making news due to an excerpt that was shared with media outlets where she reveals that she had an abortion when she was dating Justin Timberlake. Her age at the time was not disclosed, but based on their dating history, she was in her late teens or very early twenties.
Spears writes about becoming pregnant with Timberlake’s baby: “It was a surprise, 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…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…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…To this day, [having an abortion] is one of the most agonizing things I have ever experienced in my life.“
Oh my gosh, reading that is just gutting. Truly heartbreaking. You can hear the painful regret in her words.
Britney was raised Southern Baptist. I’ve just got to believe that she was raised to know that abortion is the ending of a child’s life. I mean, her younger sister, Jamie Lynn — who famously became pregnant at 16 — chose life and kept her child, even when facing pressures to abort.
It just is so sad to me that she was pressured into ending the life of her child. The child between her and Justin Timberlake. I can only imagine how different her life could have been if she had that baby — in a good and potentially beautiful way.
Since this revelation, there’s been a lot of speculation about whether her tragic public breakdowns were in part a response to the aftermath of having an abortion.
I will never forget the profoundly moving talk I heard from Catholic speaker, Alyssa Bormes, where she recounted the indescribable weight of having had an abortion as an anvil constantly hovering above your head, threatening at any moment to absolutely crush you. I think about her harrowing description every time abortion is in the news, and I think about the women who suffer after aborting their children, and how their lives change.
Britney must have been carrying such intense grief after having that abortion. Pressured by a young man that was supposed to have loved her. It just is unthinkable.
And all of her public breakdowns — from shaving her head, to locking herself in a bathroom, to attacking the paparazzi with an umbrella — when seen through the lens of a young woman grieving from ending the life of her own child: something that she was against doing — those outrageous actions take on a different hue.
It all just leaves my heart feeling incredibly heavy.
Justin Timberlake has been radio silent since this revelation has come to light that he pressured Britney into having an abortion. Not one single peep.
And that, makes me sick. It makes me angry. He needs to be held accountable for the pain he caused her. And for the life he insisted be ended. Even just an apology — an admittance that he was wrong. Something for crying out loud.
I’ll leave you with this: after her split with Justin in 2002, she released the song, Everytime, which many believed at the time was about her breakup with Timberlake. But after learning this new information about her abortion, I personally believe it’s really about that, and part of her grieving process.
Set in a hospital room, she sings these lyrics while watching a woman have a baby: “I guess I need you, baby; and every time I see you in my dreams I see your face: it’s haunting me…Please, forgive me; my weakness caused you pain; And this song’s my sorry,”
The music video end on a close up of the baby. Watching it again, it’s haunting and very evident that she was absolutely a woman in grieving.
And I want to just end this post tonight with a prayer for all those women who are silently carrying that anvil over their heads — that pain and grief and sorrow post-abortion. I pray that they feel the father’s love around them as He grieves with them. And to offer them hope that God’s love for them is unconditional and that His forgiveness and mercy are as deep and wide as the ocean.
And I want to offer a powerful resource for those women — and men — who carry that heavy load:
Lastly, may God be with all those scared women who right now are facing an unplanned pregnancy. May they see the precious life inside of them, and choose life. And may they be surrounded by support to do so.