Everyone’s Mad That Justin Bieber’s Mom Is Producing An Anti-Abortion Movie


Back in September I read a pretty hilarious/kinda horrific article on Jezebel titled, Your Abortion Probably Killed the Next Justin Bieber. Basically, the writer was flipping out because Justin Bieber’s mom Pattie Mallette was the subject of an anti-abortion article, and had appeared on the Today show to talk about her forthcoming book. Pattie’s message is basically, I almost got an abortion, but I’m glad I didn’t. And, of course, she wants other women to hear her story in hopes that they, too, might change their minds about getting abortions. Look, I sooo don’t wanna have the abortion talk… but I think it’s really *interesting* that people are so mad because Pattie’s now working on a short anti-abortion film in hopes of raising $10 million for pregnancy centers. Click inside to learn more, and join me for an impromptu meeting of PITNB’s popCULTURE CLUB: theoretically putting the “culture” back in “pop culture,” one post at a time…

The HuffPost has the story:

Justin Bieber’s mother, Pattie Mallette, is an executive producer on an upcoming anti-abortion short film.

The makers of “Crescendo” hope to raise $10 million for pregnancy centers at screenings worldwide starting Feb. 28. Mallette herself will appear at some of these, said production company Movie to Movement on Friday.

The pop star’s mother has written and spoken extensively about the addiction and abuse that led to her teenage pregnancy.

Mallette said in a statement she hopes her involvement with “Crescendo” will “encourage young women all over the world, just like me, to let them know that there is a place to go, people who will take care of you and a safe home to live in if you are pregnant and think you have nowhere else to turn.”


Okay, so there are a few different responses to this news. A lot of people are calling Mama Bieber an opportunist; another parent capitalizing on her child’s success. I’m not entirely sure that applies here, but okay.

And then other people are just mortified by anything with the phrase “anti-abortion” in it. That also makes plenty of sense, although I’m not one of those people.

When I read that first Jezebel article, I agreed with the writer who pointed out the fact that the “OMG, What if I’d aborted this amazing child I now have” is a little ridiculous. I always say that I don’t believe in What If questions; I think they serve little purpose when you’re trying to make a strong argument. But mainly, I’m opposed to walking around and telling everyone that you totally almost aborted your kid! I mean… your kid is gonna hear that! I can actually understand why someone would be anti-abortion (and I can understand why someone would want an abortion), but I can’t understand why someone would want their own child to know that– at some point in time– their parents were unable or unwilling (or both) to take care of them.

Like I said, I don’t reeeealllly want to get into the abortion talk, because every time I get lost in a Jezebel vortex and read the comments, my stomache starts to hurt. I’m gonna share one comment I managed to make on that first Justin Bieber/Abortion article:

In response to everyone else, is it really true that you CANNOT be Pro Choice AND say that abortion is something that should not be taken lightly? There’s really NO way to do both? To talk about women’s choice and to talk about the fact that you may PERSONALLY feel like having an abortion is no small potatoes? I do know women who’ve used it as a form of birth control, who normalize it. Is that the point? That if you are pro choice you MUST accept that abortion is as normal as any other medical decision?

I’m not interested in telling any woman how many abortions she can have and I would NEVER suggest that anybody needs to get their life together (judge not, lest…) AND I don’t see why we all have to be on the exact same page about this. Pro-choice women should be allowed to have their own personal opinions about the entire abortion conversation without being automatically considered pro-lifers. This ‘either you’re with us 100% or you’re just like the rest of the patriarchy’ schtick doesn’t seem right.

Interestingly enough, Jezebel later published an article saying exactly what I was afraid of– that you absolutely cannot be pro-life and a feminist (Although my comment was specifically addressing the idea that pro-choice women should not have any negative opinions about abortion or women who have them, I also thought it was problematic to hate on pro-lifers or anti-abortion people).  In fact, the article was titled, There Is No Such Thing As A Pro-Life Feminist:

Many women came forward and said Eff That. I’m a feminist, and I’m pro-life, and you’re not kicking me out of the club, lol. Other women said you could be pro-life and a feminist AS LONG AS you didn’t actively try to keep other women from having abortions. And other women said that telling women they couldn’t be feminists because of their personal beliefs, was the most anti-feminist ish ever.

Me? I’m a bit confused. But I usual am when it comes to defining feminism. When we talked about the word “slut” a while back I spoke about my fears of being kicked out of the feminist club. They’re kicking bitches out left and right, lmao!

But okay. here’s the type of person I am– just for clarification. Let’s take Jenelle Evans from Teen Mom. I just went iiiinnnnn on that girl (and MTV) a few days ago and a lot of you joined me. Jenelle is pregnant again and I think that’s wack and sad and irresponsible and wack and sad and horrible. And (because of my upbringing, because of my experiences, my relationship with my kids, books I’ve read, blah blah blah) I don’t want her to have an abortion! I’m not gonna try to stop her from getting one, but I wouldn’t be, like, thrilled if I found out she had one. It’s not for me to define what abortion means or signifies, I just think there should be room for women and men (because, sidenote, I don’t think abortion is a conversation that’s exclusive to women) to stand up for what they believe in without being kicked out of the feminist club. I like being a feminist and I’m not afraid of the word (as I once was), and I also like being able to disagree with certain feminist movements, even as I still identify as being a part of the greater movement. Personally, I disagree with the part of the movement that viciously and vehemently attacks pro-life women and attempts to revoke their feminist cards. And, simultaneously, I understand why the attacks are happening, and the risk involved when the pro-life movement involves political decisions.

So, yeah. I’d love to hear what you guys think about all this. Can other feminists kick women who define themselves as feminists out of the group? Could someone– like Justin Bieber’s mom– make an anti-abortion movie, and still be considered a feminist?

[Source] [Source]

  • Jennifer

    I think you can be anti-abortion for yourself only and be a feminist but as soon as you start to tell other women what they can and cannot do with their own bodies then you become an anti-feminist.

    • Karen


      And there are lots of things pro-life feminists can do to reduce other women’s abortions without trampling on other women’s rights and bodily integrity.

      They can advocate for comprehensive sex education and universal access to contraception.

      They can come up with, fund, and/or advocate for education programs that help little girls develop into older girls who find their self-worth and status in things other than their relationship to boys. And programs that help little boys develop into older boys who find their self-worth and status in things other than expressions of hyper-masculinity and devaluing girls and femininity.

      They can advocate for and fund programs that help women financially and otherwise if they decide to have children they cannot afford and/or do not have time or energy or the ability to care for — but who do not want to give their children up for adoption. And advocate for and support such programs that continue to help these women for *years* — not just at the beginning.

      They can adopt children from foster care and through private adoption services in this country.

      They can advocate for workplace policies and cultures that make parenthood easier. And for equalizing the gender gap in hiring, promotions, and pay.

      That’s just for starters.

      It is fine to be against abortion and there are endless ways for feminists to work to prevent them. But advocating against abortion *rights* — taking away other women’s right to decide what happens to their own bodies — is anti-feminist.

    • Shannon

      Karen, “They can come up with, fund, and/or advocate for education programs that help little girls develop into older girls who find their self-worth and status in things other than their relationship to boys. And programs that help little boys develop into older boys who find their self-worth and status in things other than expressions of hyper-masculinity and devaluing girls and femininity.”

      I love this, and your other points as well. I mean, you’ve really given people a comprehensive list of actions to take, if they want to encourage women to carry their babies to term, without also demanding that all women do so.

  • Shannon

    I’m pro choice but anti-abortion. Meaning I am comforted knowing its an option but its not something I condone or take lightly. What does that make me? Someone who doesn’t like labels I guess.

    • Natalie Hahn Seitz

      No-it simply makes you pro-choice….as long as you understand that what you would choose for yourself personally may not and should not apply to every other woman facing an unwanted or unviable pregnancy.

    • Kim

      I am the same way: what you do is your business, but I could never do it myself.

  • Emilie

    I am a feminist, born and raised, and God willing my daughter will be, too.

    I am anti-abortion all the time, no matter what. But what I am not willing to do is say that abortion should be illegal while we fail women on all other counts. I am anti-abortion in that I think we need to educate women and girls as well as provide appropriate health care that will PREVENT PREGNANCY.

    I’m not an anti-feminist for being against abortion. I would never tell a woman what to do with her body (or her family). What I want to do is raise our standards in the care provided for women. We need to do better!

  • victoria

    Being pro choice and anti abortion is a complete oxymoron because the two are interconnected and its pretty clear that you do enjoy labels if you are willing to tag yourself with that one. If you are ok with the idea of a woman having the right to choose than you are pro-choice period. If you wish for their right to act on their choice to be eradicated than you are anti-choice/abortion.

    • JCZ

      I reply to you Victoria, yet also to Aimee.
      Firstly, I disagree 11111100000% with you. And agree 234038043080% with Aimee – life isn’t Black & White and we CAN talk about these issues and have beliefs that are more than just a yes or no answer.

      Pro-choice here all the way. You wanna sleep around and get knocked up cause you don’t like the feel of condoms? Go ahead! You wanna abort cause you’re not ready, whether you’re married, single or with a partner? Sure, it’s your choice. Too young? Probably for the best. Too old? Ok, health issues etc. What, your test results say your kid might be disabled? Harsh, but it’s legal.

      BUT… you will be judged. Some of what I listed I won’t, yet some I will. I think it is fine to judge in these scenarios. Judgement is acceptable where it is used to educate, or point out something that is ethically or morally wrong. (I think that makes sense? I know what I’m trying to say.. basically judging someones outfit, or beauty etc. is NOT in other words – take note Kelly vs Gaga)

      So whilst I feel I haven’t met someone more pro-choice than me, I still have those moral beliefs where an abortion is acceptable and not – but whether I disagree, on moral grounds, of an abortion, it should not legally be taken away from a woman.

      I do not identify myself as either left or right on the political spectrum. And even then, the topic of abortion doesn’t apply to either side really – I find it’s more of a personal opinion than a parties opinion. I believe in government amongst certain issues and also believe they should stick their noses out of many others – those being things like marriage and also abortion. Why should a government dictate what someone can do? Go out and have unprotected sex (if they’re stupid enough to) and fall pregnant, realise it was a mistake (cause they’re too stupid, or drunk, to realise it at the time) and get an abortion. Sure, they should suffer (not really the best word to use) their consequences (again not the best word), but we’re meant to live in a free world, or at least, a democracy that enacts freedom.

      To Aimee – I agree about your stance with Men. I know some woman, feminists and not, believe abortion and pregnancy should be discussed mutually between both sides. But I don’t, it is the woman that endures the pain or suffering of whatever choice is made – keeping or aborting. A male may suffer some emotional distress from a possible child being aborted, but not to the extent of a woman. Politics is too overrun with men, who think (both left and right) that woman just can’t tackle the BIG issues cause they’re “made too emotional” or whatever lame, 19th century excuse they have. Ideally, neither women or men in government should decide and it should just be legal for the person IN the situation to make themselves. (Obv. my opinion)

      (Also, what is up with saying, “You could have aborted the next Justin Bieber” !!!!??? SMH moment. So like, don’t abort your child, cause it could make you rich!!!! – that is f***ed UP!)

      In a nutshell – Pro-choice, but their are moral boundaries to be made about how a woman should act or behave. Sounds feminist and anti-feminist at the same time. But the latter agrees with Shannon that it should come down to EDUCATION to say to girls or woman, whilst you’re free to do this and do that, morally it is probably wrong BUT these are the consequences, these are the things you may suffer or endure for the rest of your life. If you want to do this, perhaps this is a safer option because of your age for example.

      It is an issue that will always be black & white, left & right, for and against. But it should be more than just that, there needs to be more DISCUSSION rather than just an answer without words or reason.

    • Shannon

      JCZ, I like that you differentiate between the moral and political sphere. It’s one thing to judge and to disagree, it’s another thing to impose those morals on others.

      About the men. Obviously, women are the ones most affected (at least physically) by a pregnancy. However, I’m not willing to write them out of the abortion conversation. In the political sphere, of course we need women’s voices to be heard on this issue and we need women in politics to have just as much agency as their dude counterparts, especially when it comes to this issue. But, in an apolitical (if there is such a thing) convo about abortion and/or pregnancy I cringe at the idea of leaving out men and potential fathers. If we say that men have no say in the termination of a pregnancy I don’t see how that’s very different from saying that they have no say in the birth of a child, or in the raising of a child. I think we send mixed messages if we say ‘We don’t want you guys involved in THIS part of it’ but ‘Men need to step up in THIS part of it.’ How can we (not you, but the general ‘we’) complain about all of the men who aren’t in their children’s lives, or Dads who are inactive, or fathers who are present, but still leave the brunt of the child-rearing on mothers if we don’t impress upon them their importance from the VERY BEGINNING?

      Obviously, a man who wants a say in the abortion convo needs to also be present in every other part of the pregnancy/birth/child-raising conversation. But the same goes for women! As others have commented, if you want to speak up about abortion, you should be just as willing to speak up about health care, social conditions, foster care systems, sex ed., etc. I think this applies to both genders, not just women.

  • Aimee

    I think anyone who thinks in black and white is just crazy anyway. I think legislation that limits access to abortion is wrong, I think judging women for having abortions is wrong. I’ve had an abortion and it was terrible, but I’m not ashamed and I’m not living like Omg, I coulda birthed Justin Bieber! But the idea that feminists have to subscribe to a certain set of ideals or rules is really a problem for me, and I think people who believe *that* are the true anti-feminists. I am a stay-home, homeschooling mom and some of my “feminist” friends have judged me for not being out in the world earning money, having it all, blah blah blah. Whatever. I *really* have a problem with MEN making laws about what women can do with their bodies.

  • Bethany

    Thank you for posting this, Shannon!! This article and your opinions make me want to hug you :-)

    • Shannon

      Bethany, thank you! I’m just glad we’re able to have this conversation without TOO much drama popping off, lol. You guys make my job so awesome :)

  • Jennifer Wilson

    i think everyone on the planet has a right to a personal opinion and choice on what to do with their body. if they have the resources they can make movies about and give money to who/whatever they want.

    however. they should never, ever, make laws that dictate what other people can do with their bodies.

    im not a parent, but it looks to be the most difficult job there is. i sure dont think someone should be forced into it (especially a woman, since it seems like men never are).

  • ClaireMichelle

    Irregardless of whether someone is pro-choice or anti abortion is one thing, but to be mad at someone for making a film voicing their postion is silly. That would be like me being mad at all of the people making films about how terrible it is to eat processed meat simply because I enjoy my Big Macs. I don’t feel eloquent enough to comment on the feminist topic. :)

  • Matthew

    Well, some people don’t like to smoke marijuana, so they think that YOU should not be able to smoke marijuana. So they get all riled up and they make an anti-marijuana committee and lobby in DC.

    Some folks would never get married to someone of the same sex, and they think that YOU should not be doing that either. So they get all riled up and they form anti-gay marriage committees and they go lobby in DC.

    Some folks would never personally get an abortion, and they think that YOU have no business getting abortions either. So they get all riled up and form anti-abortion committees and they go lobby in DC.

    Because if we legalize these things then everyone knows that means the whole nation is suddenly going to start doing it. There will be non-stop marijuana fueled gay orgies and girls will be getting preggers just so they can have abortion parties.

    But that’s what makes America so great. It’s the fact that we can make little committees for just about anything. We just have to get enough people to PANIC. Or just throw the children into it. It’s not about you, you are just concerned about the children. Because the children get their morals from the laws, not from their parents. Thanks goodness we have laws against murder!

    So Mrs. Bieber is well within her rights to make a committee or produce a film. And I’m well within my rights to light one up right about now…

  • Mela

    You have to understand that in Canada, abortions are free, meaning that literally tens of thousands of women are using my tax dollars to fund their convenient form of birth control every year while in turn harming their bodies, never mind what you think of life of conception. AND in Canada there are NO restrictions on abortion, meaning that if you can find a doctor to do it, you can have an abortion at ANY point of your pregnancy. While I think the procedure should be legal, I don’t think it should be taken for granted the way it is, especially in our country with universal health care.

    And before you tell me about rapes and incest, studies have proven that’s about 1% of abortions. 99% are making a lifestyle choice and I’m the one paying for it. That bums me out.

    • Karen

      Being from the US, I envy your health care system and your abortion laws. That said, I understand your point of view. Still, it’s a slippery slope. I am against cigarette smoking — I loathe everything about it and do not think anyone should choose to do it. But I’m not comfortable saying my tax dollars should not provide health care for smoking-related illnesses. Or junk food-related illnesses. Or a drunk driver’s injuries. Or Dick-Cheney-shot-me sorts of injuries. Or so many others.

      On the other hand, in the US, such a large portion of tax dollars goes to things like corporate welfare, military spending, the prison industrial complex, myriad things that harm the environment, and other things I’m no fan of, that I personally probably contribute only a few dollars a year to anything health-related!

    • Matthew

      Here’s the thing. When you say that TENS OF THOUSANDS of women are using YOUR taxpayer dollars to fund their CONVENIENT form of birth control, it makes me want to call into question the 3 things I have put in caps.

      1. Are tens of thousands of women getting abortions in Canada each year?

      2. If they are and they are Canadian, then technically they are also using THEIR tax payer dollars to fund the abortion (not just yours).

      3. I’m not a guy, so I could be wrong, but abortions seem to be anything but convenient.

      This reminds me of the PANIC tactics I talked about in my previous post.

      HEADLINE NEWS: TENS OF THOUSANDS of Canadian women are using OUR taxpayer money to fund their frivolous and CONVENIENT abortions every year. This must stop!

      I’m not calling you a liar. It could very well be true. It just seems a little….

    • Mela

      I’m really not trying to flame here, although my post may have come off a bit salty. The number annually is around 100,000 although some provinces do not have to legally report numbers so you can assume 100,000+. (30 million population)

      And yes, unfortunately our health care, as wonderful as it is, is commonly being used as emergency birth control by women not only once, but several times in their lives. I’m not in any world saying we shouldn’t have abortions, I’m just saying the Bieb’s mom has a bit of a different perspective because of our universal health care…although she could just be fanatical, I couldn’t say. I just wanted to share a Canuck perspective because abortion here is not just about can or can’t, it continues on to an abuse of a public health system and also, and this part is just my opinion, an attitude that it’s no rush since you can legally have third trimester abortions if you find the right clinic. I find it sad that many, many women are using this publicly funded option for their “woops” moments. Like I said, it bums me out guys. And I am sorry if my post came off snarky. Just trying to be real with you.

    • Mela

      Oh and I meant “not saying we shouldn’t have abortions available”. Woops!

    • Steph

      Here is the thing Mela, although abortions are free, BC pills are not, condoms are not, other forms of birth control are not. A lot of those abortions are done for women in very low SES and whose pregnancy, birth and childcare will all cost WAY more than an abortion.
      I am not arguing pro-life, pro-choice or anything else but without those abortions “our tax payers” will be spending millions of dollars for the care of children who will not be looked after, will wind up in the system and end up having very hard lives.

    • Mela

      And that’s exactly why I agree with people like the Bieb’s mom, encouraging women to see it through and imagine the possibility of taking a short period of inconvenience (caused by their own lifestyle choice) and using it to make a dream come through for one of the many people who would do anything just for the chance to adopt a baby, because they didn’t have a choice by nature to have their own.

      I know in Canada you can go to a resource center in almost any town and get free condoms too, so…yeah.

    • Serenity

      @Mela, Your tax dollars also go towards paying for births. Do you have a problem with that, too?

    • Lola

      As a pro-lifer and a Canadian, I don’t like that my tax dollars are going to fund abortion, which I do not believe is right. Tax dollars paying for someone to have an abortion is not the same as paying for someone to give birth. One thing is natural, the other is not.

      No one will get sympathy from me for condoms and birth control not being free – if someone doesn’t want to get pregnant and/or can’t afford to have a baby, then don’t have sex – I know it is an “old fashioned” and foreign concept but that is my opinion. If someone wants to kick me out of the “feminist club” for having my own beliefs and opinions, then it’s not the kind of thing I want to be associated with anyway.

    • Mela

      Or maybe educate yourself on natural family planning to mitigate the risk, right?

    • Lola

      Yes, that too. I think that by now, everyone knows that sex is the leading cause of pregnancy and no birth control, whether it be pill, condom, or natural family planning, is always 100% effective, 100% of the time. I know that abstinence is not a popular thing, but it’s pretty much fool proof, besides that one case about 2012 years ago. ;)

    • Serenity

      @Lola Oh, but your (our, I suppose, since I’m in Canada) tax dollars go towards more than paying for birth! It also goes towards paying for the child tax benefit credit. It goes towards the Universal Child Care benefit. I suppose I should have asked if @Mela is okay with financially helping to rear a child until she or he is 18.

      I don’t even know how to begin to address – and if it’s worth addressing – this picture you seem to be painting of girls who run around as if thinking, “Tee-hee! Abortion is so easy! I don’t need to use any other form of birth control, because I can get an abortion! lalala!” In my entire life, I have met one – exactly *one* – girl who thought like that. Everybody else has a brain and realizes that it’s surgery, and therefore isn’t running to get one like it’s free chocolate.

    • Lola

      I don’t believe that everyone who has an abortion runs around thinking that it is easy and I never said that I did. I just said that I don’t like to pay for something that I believe is wrong.

      I don’t have a problem with my tax dollars going toward Child Tax Credit and Child Care Benefit. Again, that is completely different than abortion and is a very weak argument. I believe that life begins at conception and that abortion is murder, plain and simple. There is no grey area for me. Taxes going toward a tax credit to help raise and care for children and taxes going to abortions to kill babies are not the same.

      I hate arguing with people online, it’s a losing battle. We have different beliefs and different views on the subject so I will leave it at that and agree to disagree. I have stated my opinion and don’t feel the need to continue defending my beliefs. You won’t change my mind and I won’t change yours. Feel free to continue commenting but I will not respond.

      Thank you to everyone who has disliked my comments. You have brought a smile to my face and made my heart burst with pride and happiness. =)

    • Serenity

      @Lola “I don’t have a problem with my tax dollars going toward Child Tax Credit and Child Care Benefit. Again, that is completely different than abortion and is a very weak argument”

      It depends on what you think we’re arguing.

      Just like Mela isn’t happy about her tax dollars going toward abortions, others aren’t happy about “paying” for other people’s children, and there are a lot more of those than the approximately 100,000 abortions that Stats Canada reported for 2008. You can’t please everybody. All you can do is try to make sure that people have the power and rights to make choices for their lives.

      I feel kind of bad for you, though. You wouldn’t have addressed the number of dislikes you received if they didn’t bother you on some level.

    • Shannon

      I’m jumping in (a little late) to say that I absolutely hear where Mela and Lola are coming from. Lola, for example, says she believes ‘life begins at conception.’ I can see how she would have no problem contributing to someone’s life, but takes great issue contributing to– what is, based on her beliefs– a death. I can understand and respect that position.

      Mela and Lola are also pointing out the obvious about sex and pregnancy. Sometimes people talk about abortion as if it’s completely necessary in the modern world because how else will you avoid having a baby before you’re ready?! But there are LOTS of ways, and I do think it’s crazy that with all the resources out there (and I know some places have more than others, but let’s be real– we all know how to NOT get pregnant…. right?), there are still so many unwanted pregnancies. I don’t think it’s wrong for anyone to suggest that people use condoms, use the rhythm method, use the many various forms of birth control, or use abstinence. Or a combo of all of the above, lol.

      No, I don’t believe there are hella people using abortion as a form of birth control. Although I can think of three people I know who have… I think that we can admit that there’s a casual attitude towards abortion, and some people want that to be the case so that there will be less resistance (political and otherwise) to the idea. But I’m not ready to have a casual attitude towards abortion and even though I’m not against it, I do understand those who are.

    • maureen

      Abortion is bad for your body? So are cigarettes. And alcohol. And cake and ice cream and doughnuts. So let’s ban anything that can be potentially bad for your body! Reality check: most women who have an abortion are medically fine. Now if a woman has multiple abortions, then that’s harmful, but how many women do you know who are rushing out to get abortions every other month? Probably 0. It’s not birth control for godsake.

  • Serenity

    I remember when feminism was about equality, and not trying to make everybody agree with what one person or group said.

    I think it’s possible to be pro-life and feminist, as long as you aren’t voting to take rights away from other women. Once you start trying to tell somebody else what to do, then we’ve wiped the equality off of the table.

    As for Bieber’s mom’s campaign, if I’m understanding the above blurb correctly, it seems that she just wants to provide options. I think that’s entirely fair. I’ve known women who considered abortion because they didn’t think there was anything else they could do, anywhere else they could go. How much of a choice does one really have when they feel that they can only go for one thing?

  • Lola

    I’ve never really bought into the “feminist” label. I wouldn’t consider myself a feminist. Do I think that women and men should have equal opportunities? Yes. But I think it’s the people who DON’T believe in equality, whether it is referring to gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. that should have the club and they should be called The Douchbags. They should probably be made to wear stupid hats so they are easily identifiable and can be publicly shamed on a daily basis. :)

    • maureen

      “I wouldn’t consider myself a feminist. Do I think that women and men should have equal opportunities? Yes”

      Well then you’re a feminist in my book! I guess we all have different definitions of feminist – but you just described mine. And I think pro-life and pro-choice women can both be feminists.

  • Kayla

    Just to add another view to the table..

    I am a Canadian who used to be in a much different position that I currently am. I found myself pregnant and broke and not wanting to get an abortion. I carried my pregnancy to term and placed my daughter in an open adoption. I love her with all of my heart and she has amazing parents who are giving her an amazing life that I could never have hoped to provide. All the same, it was hands down the most difficult time of my life and it continues to be something I struggle with every single day. I do not truly believe that there will come a time that this is not difficult for me. I would not recommend this path to everyone (or really anyone).

    In the end I just don’t think it’s easy. When you are pregnant there are 3 choices: 1. You have the baby. If you are not financially stable or emotionally stable (or any other number of possible reasons) than this could be very difficult. On the flip side it could be an incredibly joyous time for you and your family. 2. You have an abortion. This could likely create a lot of emotional issues for you and may have a large impact on your life. On the other hand, you may be able to step back and realize that this was the best choice for you and you may move on from it without much difficulty. 3. You place your child with an adoptive family. This could be very difficult for you. It could also be not that difficult for you and you may be able to move on quickly and feel 100% happy with the decision.

    What makes us human is that none of us will ever have the exact same experience. Why? Because of how we experience it. I could be locked in a room with a friend and have something happen to us and it wouldn’t be exactly the same for both of us. All of our previous life experiences affect the way we handle and perceive current situations.

    I think that recognizing and accepting that there can never just be one answer to an issue, such as pregnancy, is necessary. Too many different life experiences will play into our personal decision. I think we just need to remain aware that our answer is for us and maybe not others.

    • Shannon

      Kayla, just wanted to thank you for posting this.

  • Kayla

    I just re read what I posted and wanted to comment that being broke was not the only contributing factor that lead to placing my daughter. It was a far more complex situation than that.

    • Serenity

      @Kayla It’s always a more complex situation, for everybody. That’s why I don’t like to say what people should or should not be doing with their bodies, because I am not the one who has to walk in their shoes.

      I hope that things are looking brighter for you.

  • Maria Ann

    I am pro-life and a feminist. They can’t kick me out!

    How about we kick out the women who are defining who can be feminists because that seems pretty anti-feminist to me.

  • Megan

    This debate surrounds me everyday. Here in Ireland, abortion is is completely illegal. It is not available in any cases. The child’s life and the mother’s life are treated as equal in our Constitution from conception. The argument for abortion has always existed in Ireland but it has grown stronger in the last few months due to the death of Savita Halappanavar, a woman who seeked an abortion because the pregnancy threatened her life but she was denied the abortion. She later died from septicemia. I am personally frightened of ever falling pregnant in my own country knowing that if my life is threatened, nothing will be done.

    I 100% agree that efforts should be put into educating young people on safe sex and prevention of rape. In an ideal world, everyone who didn’t want to fall pregnant would use contraception, contraception would be 100% full proof. men wouldn’t rape and women’s lives would never be in danger due to a pregnancy. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world. And in some situations abortion needs to be an option.

    I am pro-choice and I am a feminist. I have MANY friends and relatives who are pro-life/ant-abortion/etc. It is not unusual for someone in Ireland of my generation to be pro-life (I am 21). We have had many heated debates about it but I would never not be their friend because of their opinions. It’s a grey area, it’s NOT black and white despite what people on the extremes sides of both oppositions believe. The question of where men come into still stumps me, it’s something I struggle with as an advocate for pro-choice.

    Currently we are hoping to have that abortions will be legalised in the situations where a woman’s life is at risk (including risk of suicide) due to a pregnancy. I hope to see it go further to something similar to the UK’s law BUT with before AND after mental health checks as a mandatory part of the abortion.

    I like that Bieber’s mother is highlighting the other options that are out there for young pregnant women. I hold no ill will towards her. I am still a feminist and no one can take that label away from me.

  • gwen

    im pro choice. that means i do support planned parenthood, naral and my local pregnancy centers. thats what choice is: whatever a woman chooses i want there to be assistance for her so that there is safety and support for her. whatever she decides. and that last part is what makes me a feminist.

  • Ella

    I love that we are having this conversation and that everyone has for the most part remained civil. That being said, I am pro-choice, but I also cringe whenever I think of abortion especially partial birth. I don’t think it’s an easy decision, and I don’t think it’s something that should be taken lightly like deciding to get lasik of getting a mole removed. I believe we need more education for our young people, because let’s face it, when you live in a society that makes teen moms celebrities, it’s hard to really drive home the lesson that sex has real consequences.

  • Mela

    OH man…I totally forgot to address the “you can’t be pro-life and feminist at the same time” part of this story.

    I take issue with some women who think that feminism is one thing or another. Being a feminist is being pro-woman, and I think a lot of women lose sight of that. Man we are tough on each other. Feminism is in it’s essence a celebration of femininity, a belief that a woman can be what she wants without permission. If I choose to be pro-life, because that is my deep belief and desire, is that not just as feminist as a woman who takes on a male-dominated profession?

    I am not anti-abortion. I am for women taking owness and responsibility for their lives, and I believe that includes being responsible with the actions of her body. Abortion will never be illegal because nobody wants to go back to the back-alley abortion days. However, the piece we’re missing is that women are not being raised to be responsible with their bodies before they get accidentally pregnant and once they are, the support is not always there with options, and I mean more than one. A woman deserves to know she is supported no matter what she chooses, and that is where the pro-life movement falls short. I will never condemn a woman for getting an abortion. It saddens me as someone who believes in life at conception, but what kind of person, and what kind of woman would I be to condemn her for it? I certainly then wouldn’t be much of a feminist.

    But to condemn me as anti-feminist because I believe women should consider ALL choices instead of “taking care of it” as it’s commonly put to them, is a remark as anti-feminist as any I’ve heard.

    PS – not all pro-lifers are women holding graphic signs at the clinic. Some of us would walk with you into the clinic and hold your hand even if we wished you’d make a different choice.

    • Shannon

      Mela, ‘the piece we’re missing is that women are not being raised to be responsible with their bodies.’ So interesting that you say this. I read an article a while back titled ‘Did the feminist movement fail?’ and there were two responses to the questions– a yes and a no. One of the arguments on the ‘yes’ side pointed to the fact that women today are benefitting from a movement, and from a sexual revolution, but they need a refresher course on what it was originally about (even if we can never really go back to that time or first-wave feminist mentality). In other words, women are now able to express sexuality in a way previously prohibited, but we also have many young mothers, and many, many unwanted pregnancies. Is that, in fact, what we wanted?

      I feel, too, that we’re missing an important part of the conversation. Here’s hoping we can restore some of that, with discussions like this :)

  • Daryl Brice

    Why are people making this so complicated. Mixing Feminism with abortion? ALL humans deserve complete domain over their bodies without others denying them access to safe medical procedures. It’s a human right and not a feminist issue. Don’t micro manage the issue. Think big picture.

    • Shannon

      Daryl Brice, you’re simplifying the issue by not taking into consideration the people who believe that an embryo and/or a fetus has rights as well. As some people from Canada commented, in their country abortions can be had at ANY point in the pregnancy. This complicates things for some people.

      None of us have complete domain over our bodies when other bodies are involved. I can’t do whatever I want to my fist, if it involves someone else’s face, ya know? I’m allowed to do what I want insomuch as it involves NO ONE else. Some people would argue that abortion absolutely involves at least one other being. And lots of people have different views on when that being becomes a being with rights– some folks say it happens at conception. Others say it’s only when the fetus is full-term, or almost full-term and able to survive outside of the womb because it has all its vital organs.

      I do like that you’re asking people to see the big picture, and I think it’s an interesting argument– that abortion is a matter of human rights. But again, many people do not see abortion as just another “safe medical procedure.” Maybe one day it will be viewed as such by all of us, but it hasn’t been normalized or broken down like that yet.

  • maureen

    Keep in mind that the act of abortion itself can mean anything from aborting a 10 minute old zygote (literally sperm + egg) to a 8 month-old fetus. Aborting a zygote is not much different than having a period (actually many pregnancies end in early miscarriage without the woman even realizing because she appears to be having a normal period). Late-term abortion is a different issue, more controversial. Some pro-choice people are ok with partial-birth abortions and others are only ok with 1 trimester abortion, or after the 1st trimester for medical reasons, etc. This is not a black-and-white issue for sure.