R&B song advocates violence against women who don’t abort
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--The remix version of a popular R&B song contains lyrics advocating violence against pregnant women who choose not to abort their babies and has prompted a grassroots effort by two pro-life organizations to keep the song off the radio.
Rapper Joe Budden's remix version of the song "Confessions" by Usher includes the lines, "Pray that she abort that, If she's talkin' 'bout keepin' it/One hit to the stomach, She's leakin' it." A version of the song that does not contain the controversial lyrics reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in late June.
Care Net, an organization that supports a network of 750 crisis pregnancy centers, is calling on Island/Def Jam Records to denounce the song and for radio stations not to play it.
"We think these lyrics are completely irresponsible," Kristin Hansen, a Care Net spokesperson, told Baptist Press July 2. "Record companies have a responsibility, an obligation to be aware of the impact that their songs are going to have on the culture. Yes, there's freedom of speech, but this goes one step too far. That's why we're urging Island/Def Jam Records to pull its support from this remix. We're urging people to call radio stations to make sure that it's not played."
A July 1 report on AllHipHop.com called the song an "underground mixtape remix" and featured Budden's thoughts on the lyrics.
"Everybody's heard the original Usher song and I'm just saying what a guy's mind state is when he's put in that situation," Budden said, presumably referring to the situation of an unwanted pregnancy. "Like it or not, that's a guy's mind state. That's how it can be when you are put in a powerless situation."
Budden denied the lyrics support beating a woman, and then he elaborated on his motivation for the lines.
"When you get somebody pregnant, you can make suggestions, but the bottom line is [women] have the end say-so," he said on AllHipHop.com. "As a guy, you wonder, 'What can I do to take that power away?' As negative as it is, that's what comes to mind. That still doesn't make [violence against women] alright and I don't support that. In Hip-Hop, we talk about reality and what is the truth and that is the truth. I might stir up a lot of confusion, but if you don't like it, turn it off."
Hansen said she received a similar response when she called Universal Music, the parent company of Island/Def Jam, for comment. Her calls to the company's publicist were not returned, she said, but a Universal operator told her the song is not being played on the radio, and if it is, there's an edited version available. The operator added Budden has the right to freedom of speech, and those who don't like the lyrics can turn the song off, Hansen said.
When Hansen asked the operator if she could quote her on the statement that the song is not being played on the radio, the operator hung up, Hansen said.
Black Americans for Life, an outreach of the National Right to Life Committee, is also protesting the song and urging African-Americans to call the record label and their local radio stations to request that they not support the song.
"These lyrics are demeaning and outright violent toward both women and unborn children," Day Gardner, director of Black Americans for Life, said in a June 24 news release. "It is appalling to suggest that a man attack a woman to cause the death of her unborn child. As women and as mothers, we simply cannot allow ourselves or our unborn children to be treated as objects of such abuse."
Hansen mentioned that Care Net is in the middle of a project to plant pregnancy centers in urban areas. Care Net's Urban Initiative targets underserved urban areas across the country to educate communities about the abortion problem and to help plant or strengthen pregnancy resource centers, according to a July 1 news release.
Statistics cited in the release said one in three African-American pregnancies end in abortion, more than 1,200 black babies die each day to abortions, and about 70 percent of abortion providers are in minority neighborhoods, suggesting that abortion in the black community has “become a form of genocide.”
"Women face so many pressures -- especially women in urban areas -- from their families, their boyfriends, financial pressures," Hansen told BP. "This song is just an example of that, and the pregnant woman in an urban area may not even know that she has choices. We're trying to help educate her about what abortion is and that she does have positive options."
Hansen added that she hopes Christians will see that something positive is going on as Care Net and Black Americans for Life work to bring hope to inner cities.
"Hopefully these tragic lyrics will raise awareness of what we're doing and encourage people to pray," she said.