Britney Spears’ sister is pregnant. She’s 16.
Britney Spears’ 16-year-old sister, who stars as a schoolgirl in Nickelodeon’s popular TV show “Zoey 101,” is pregnant.
The cable channel confirmed a report in the forthcoming edition of celebrity gossip magazine OK! that Jamie Lynn Spears is expecting a child.
“We respect Jamie Lynn’s decision to take responsibility in this sensitive and personal situation. We know this is a very difficult time for her and her family, and our primary concern right now is for Jamie Lynn’s well being,” Nickelodeon said in a statement e-mailed to Reuters.
Having a baby at 16 isn’t a good thing. Obviously.
But Ms. Spears has chosen to take a tough road. Choosing life is always a tough road.
Like hundreds of thousands of others teens she could have quietly and confidentially chosen to get an abortion. That is certainly a choice. Doing so would have spared her from any public scrutiny – no one ever reports on abortions. It would have probably spared her blooming career or at least not put a major crimp in it.
Instead she has chosen public scrutiny, the discomfort of pregnancy, the pain of childbirth, the trials of being a new mother. She has made a courageous choice.
And by all those who call themselves pro-life her decision should be lauded. Lauding her decision will hardly encourage a bunch of young girls to get themselves pregnant. It might, however, encourage girls who have gotten pregnant to consider keeping their child as a viable alternative to abortion. That could be a good thing.
As one who has participated in an abortion – I wrote about it in some detail in my book – I know that choosing one can leave deep emotional scars on both the pregnant woman and the man who got her pregnant. [Note – I am not saying it leaves scars for everyone. For many it leaves no scars or provides a long-term sense of relief.]
One of the deepest scars it can bring is a sense of isolation. Despite the fact that there have been more than 50 million abortions since 1973, few people ever talk about them. That is a hard thing to fathom. 50 million abortions means more than the destruction of 50 million lives/potential lives (depending on perspective). It means that there are probably 80 or 90 million adults who have participated in an abortion. (My rough math assumes that some people participate in an abortion more than once.) I am not saying that every one of those people lives in isolated guilt or shame. But even if we posit that half of them feel some sense of that, it means there are 40 or so million people in America who deal with those scars. In 2006, about 36 million people lived in California.
I am not talking about outlawing abortion or criminalizing anyone. I am not talking about shaming people who have had abortions – FAR from it. I am, however, talking about applauding those who choose the very public act of pregnancy because they are making a tough but ultimately rewarding choice. And the first people who should be in line saying that – and providing support – are pro-life activists everywhere.