In her new memoir, popstar Britney Spears revealed that she became pregnant while dating fellow popstar Justin Timberlake and has described her subsequent abortion as “one of the most agonising things I have ever experienced in my life”.
The singers had been dating between 1999 and 2002, when they were in their late teens and early 20s. In her new memoir The Woman in Me, Spears, now 41, described her traumatic experience.
“It was a surprise, but for me, [the pregnancy] 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”.
“One of the most agonising things I have ever experienced in my life”
Spears revealed that while she was happy to be a mother, Timberlake wanted her to have an abortion.
“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, it’s one of the most agonising things I have ever experienced in my life”.
Media outlets have approached Timberlake for comment.
Fans believe song may have referenced abortion
A year after Spears and Timberlake separated, Britney Spears unveiled her album “In the Zone”, featuring the single, “Everytime”. The song’s melancholic ballad marked a notable departure from her earlier, more upbeat songs.
After speaking publicly about her abortion, fans have said they believe that the song could be referencing the abortion.
Fans have speculated that the song could be an apology to her unborn child, rather than her mourning her breakup with Justin Timberlake.
In particular, the fans have interpreted the song’s chorus “And every time I see you in my dreams I see your face, you’re haunting me. I guess I need you, baby”, as a possible reference to her unborn baby and the abortion.
The song was directed by David LaChapelle, who said on social media in 2019 that “the only direction Britney gave me for the video was that she wanted to die in the video”.
Having an abortion is not always a free choice
After her relationship with Timberlake ended in 2002, Spears went on to have two more children with her second husband, Kevin Federline. Her memoir will be released on 24 October.
Other celebrities have also shared their abortion trauma. The artist Tracey Emin opened up about her abortion when she was 26, which left her feeling “racked with guilt”. Similarly, the singer Nicki Minaj revealed that her abortion has “haunted” her for her entire life.
A Savanta ComRes poll commissioned by the BBC shows that 15% of women experienced “pressure to terminate a pregnancy” when they did not want to and 5% of women experienced “physical violence with intention to force a miscarriage / end a pregnancy”.
Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said “This is a deeply sad story and likely represents a very similar experience to so many women who have had abortions. It illustrates the role men have in putting pressure on women to have abortions that they do not want to have”.
“For Britney Spears, the mantra of ‘choice’ rings hollow, since all it appears she needed was support from her boyfriend at the time, and she would have three living children, rather than two”.