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February 18th, 2011
10:35 AM ET

Backlash over Bieber's view on abortion

By Eric Marrapodi, Co-Editor CNN Belief Blog

In the video above, AJ Hammer from HLN's Showbiz Tonight reports that Justin Bieber is turning heads following a Rolling Stone article in which he talked about his opposition to abortion, even in cases of rape.

He told the magazine:

I really don't believe in abortion. I think [an embryo] is a human. It's like killing a baby. [In the case a rape], I think that's really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don't know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven't been in that position, so I wouldn't be able to judge that.

The pop star has made no secret of his Christian faith over the course of his short career. In an article about his new 3D movie, "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never," Religion News Service asked if Bieber was becoming a "tween evangelist."

Scooter Braun, Bieber's manager and one of the film's producers, told the Religion News Service:

People will walk away (from the movie) knowing faith is very important to him. As a Christian, he's someone to look up to. ... When (fans) are getting the real person is when they can connect to that person.

Bieber told the Rolling Stone more about how his faith informs his career as a performer:

I feel I have an obligation to plant little seeds with my fans.  I'm not going to tell them, 'You need Jesus,' but I will say at the end of my show, 'God loves you.'

Bieber's mother, Pattie Mallette, is also outspoken about her Christian faith, regularly tweeting out Bible verses from @studiomama.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Abortion • Celebrity • Culture & Science • Culture wars • Movies • Music

soundoff (2,810 Responses)
  1. LS

    Glad to hear he is prolife! A big-positive-impacting message to the young generation!

    February 23, 2011 at 10:40 am |
  2. prc2125

    I think you should all stfu.

    February 22, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
  3. Corwin7

    Maybe we can change the religozealots minds by pointing out that all aborted fetuses are potential bleeding heart liberal, possibly gay, democratic labor union members...

    February 22, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  4. Serena

    Poor little boy caught in the celeb spotlight, he can't win either way. Abortions are sadly numerable, especially for a life-saving (for many women) medical procedure that is overused as birth control. Womens' bodies are sovereign vessels, and they get to choose how to manage their health when it involves parasitic (even human) life forms growing inside. Poor Beiber boy needs a womb of his own to control.

    February 22, 2011 at 6:13 am |
    • ScienceTeacher

      "Ultimately though, to have a "right to life" requires that one be an individual capable of living an independent existence. One must "get a life" before one has a "right to life." A fetus is not a separate individual – it lives inside a pregnant woman and depends on her for its growth. In fact, the biological definition of "parasite" fits the fetal mode of growth precisely, especially since pregnancy causes a major upset to a woman's body, just like a parasite does to its host. I'm not trying to disparage fetuses with the negative connotations of the word parasite; in fact, parasites and their hosts often enjoy mutually supportive relationships, and this would include most pregnancies. However, the parasitic relationship of a fetus to a woman means that its continued existence requires her consent[13] – if she continues the pregnancy unwillingly, her rights and bodily integrity are violated." quote by Joyce Arthur

      February 22, 2011 at 6:55 am |
  5. One Missing

    I haven't seen this comment yet but I haven't read them all. When I was very young, to my great shame, I had an abortion. I really wasn't educated, didn't realize it was a life. I thought like a lot of people did that until it's formed, until it's born, ect. I am older now and look at my children who are almost grown and know that there is one missing. I never told them, I haven't ever told anyone that knows me now. But I regret that decision more than anything I have ever done 100 million times over. I just pray that some one realizes that it is a life before they have it taken from them. And I also pray that if they have ever had an abortion, they never realize, like I do now, what they really did.

    February 22, 2011 at 12:52 am |
  6. doc workday

    Hope

    Murder is Murder. It is against the law to murder...I am curious if you are aware WHY it is against the law to murder, and WHERE do you think that law came from? ***********

    It came from people murdering people, Hope. it came from violating the righs of others. i am curious if you are AWARE that our laws don't call this murder, and unless you've been in the situation, i fear another christian baying out at everyone else about their morals. do my morals impinge on you? no. keep yours to yourself, as underdeveloped as they are.

    February 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  7. doc workday

    it is difficult to read people's posts asking if beiber is correct. why don't you examine embriology for yourselves? find out just how WRONG a little 14? year old feathered haired uneducated BOY is! AND YES, it is as simple as: if you don't like it, don't DO IT! Don't bring your religion into my science. you can believe what you want, AND SO CAN I!!!!!! those who scream the loudest aobut this, know the least.

    February 21, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  8. Jean Sargeant

    What the heck does Justin Bieber know about a woman having to make the decision to have an abortion, whether it is for health reasons or a personal choice that she has had to make? Why are men so involved with this decision.? All they have to do is plant the seed and then walk away, like so may of them do. If men were the ones who actually had to give birth, I can almost guarantee that abortions would be available on demand at Walmart. 24/7. Justin Bieber should do what he does best and that is make lots of money while he can, because I doubt we will even remember his name in 5 years time.

    February 21, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  9. Keith

    Laws pertaining to abortion are "faith based." Faith drives people to equate an embryo with a person. If you want/must/choose to believe that an embryo is the same as a person, God bless you. Preach from your pulpits against abortion. When faced with that choice personally, choose NOT to have an abortion.

    But DON"T tell others who don't share your faith that they must abide by your rules that are driven by your faith. DON'T take the easy way out by accomplishing through law what you can't accomplish through persuasion.

    Those of us who do not share your faith have no desire to bash you. We just want to be left alone to live our lives according to our own faith. We really do want "government out of our lives."

    As far as Justin B. goes, he is a child and has many more years to face the complexities of life. Remember what he says today and compare it what he says 20 years from now and be prepared to smile. Life has a way of turning black and white issues into multiple shades of gray.

    February 21, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Hope

      Murder is Murder. It is against the law to murder...I am curious if you are aware WHY it is against the law to murder, and WHERE do you think that law came from?

      February 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  10. b

    nothing beats the good ol push down the stars

    February 21, 2011 at 8:19 am |
  11. The Truth

    *** "Reality" writes: "It is obvious that inte-rcourse and other se-xual activities are out of control with over one million abortions and 19 million cases of S-TDs per year in the USA alone....How in the world do we get this situation under control?" ***

    We get it under control by not allowing the religious right to keep teaching their antiquated beliefs to our youth. Newsflash: We are mammals. It is our NATURAL instinct to want to have s-ex.

    If you want to lower abortions and S-TD's, then start handing out co-ndoms, birth control and educating youth about Plan B contraception at Churches. Your handle is "reality" which is ironic considering that it is the religious right's lack of having a grasp on the basic reality that preaching abstinence DOES NOT work. Guess which area of the country has BY FAR the highest rates of teen pregnancy? That's right... the Bible Belt. What a shocker. Meanwhile, the liberal Northeast has among the lowest rates of teen pregnancy in the country.

    Do you know why the girls in the Bible Belt are getting knocked up? It is because the simpletons choose to ignore reality in favor of a 2K year old book written by many who would have believed the Earth to be flat. Preaching abstinence is leading to UNPROTECTED s-ex which is directly leading to the problems that you are complaining about. Ah the irony.

    *** Reality writes: "And teenagers and young adults must be constantly reminded of the dangers of se-xual activity and that oral s-ex, birth control pills, co-ndoms and chast-ity belts are no protection against S-TDs."***

    The mere fact that you believe that "co-ndoms" offer "no protection against S-TD's" just further illustrates my point. Keep spreading around misinformation like that and you'll just continue to be part of the problem instead of the solution.

    Peace.

    February 20, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • Reality

      http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html
      January 2008

      "WHO NEEDS CONTRACEPTIVES?

      • 62 million U.S. women (and men?) are in their childbearing years (15–44).[1]

      • 43 million women (and men) of reproductive age, or 7 in 10, are se-xually active and do not want to become pregnant, but could become pregnant if they or their partners fail to use a con-traceptive method.[2]

      • The typical U.S. woman (man?) wants only 2 children. To achieve this goal, she (he?) must use cont-raceptives for roughly 3 decades.[3]

      WHO USES CON-TRACEPTIVES?

      • Virtually all women (98%) aged 15–44 who have ever had int-ercourse have used at least one con-traceptive method.[2](and men?)

      • Overall, 62% of the 62 million women aged 15–44 are currently using one.[2] (and men)

      • 31% of the 62 million women (and men?) do not need a method because they are infertile; are pregnant, postpartum or trying to become pregnant; have never had inte-rcourse; or are not se-xually active.[2]

      • Thus, only 7% of women aged 15–44 are at risk of unwanted pregnancy but are not using con-traceptives.[2] (and men?)

      • Among the 42 million fertile, s-exually active women who do not want to become pregnant, 89% are practicing con-traception.[2] (and men?)

      WHICH METHODS DO WOMEN (men?) USE?

      • 64% of reproductive-age women who practice con-traception use reversible methods, such as oral con-traceptives or condoms. The remaining women rely on female or male sterilization.[2]

      FIRST-YEAR CON-TRACEPTIVE FAILURE RATES

      Percentage of women (men?) experiencing an unintended pregnancy (a few examples)

      Method
      Typical

      Pill (combined) 8.7
      Tubal sterilization 0.7
      Male condom 17.4
      Vasectomy 0.2

      Periodic abstinence 25.3
      Calendar 9.0
      Ovulation Method 3.0
      Sympto-thermal 2.0
      Post-ovulation 1.0

      No method 85.0"

      (Abstinence) 0

      (Masturbation) 0

      More facts about contraceptives from

      guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html

      "CON-TRACEPTIVE METHOD CHOICE

      Cont-raceptive method use among U.S. women who practice con-traception, 2002

      Method No. of users (in 000s) % of users
      Pill 11,661 30.6
      Male condom 6,841 18.0 "

      i.e.
      The pill fails to protect women 8.7% during the first year of use (from the same reference previously shown).

      i.e. 0.087 (failure rate)
      x 62 million (# child bearing women)
      x 0.62 ( % of these women using contraception )
      x 0.306 ( % of these using the pill) =

      1,020,000 unplanned pregnancies
      during the first year of pill use.

      For male condoms (failure rate of 17.4 and 18% use level)

      1,200,000 unplanned pregnancies during the first year of male condom use.

      The Gut-tmacher Inst-itute (same reference) notes also that the perfect use of the pill should result in a 0.3% failure rate
      (35,000 unplanned pregnancies) and for the male condom, a 2% failure rate (138,000 unplanned pregnancies).

      o Conclusion: The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the pill or condoms properly and/or use other methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.

      February 21, 2011 at 8:32 am |
    • The Truth

      *** Reality writes: "Conclusion: The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the pill or condoms properly and/or use other methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs." ***

      And do you know why that is? The answer is OBVIOUS. It doesn't have to do with the contraceptives themselves, but rather it has to do with lack of education involving the people USING those contraceptives.

      I'll tell you what... go down to your local mall and stop every 10th person, bring along a carrot and a condom and demonstrate right in front of them you putting the condom on the carrot. When you do it, open the condom wrapper and "accidentally" put the condom on top of the carrot the wrong way (so it won't fold downward) and then quickly reverse it and put it fully on the carrot all the way down. Then ask the people what they thought of your de-monstr-ation and if you could have done anything differently.

      I'll bet 90%+ of all people won't notice what you did wrong. That would be that once you put the condom on top of the carrot the wrong way and then flipped it over to inverse it, then pre-s-perm could then be on the tip of the condom which would then potentially impregnate the female partner. Hardly anyone knows this. Why? Because they aren't properly EDUCATED.

      Girls with long nails don't realize they can puncture condoms. Girls who take birth control pills don't always take it at the same time of day and just think they can take it daily regardless of the time. Women are not aware of how Plan B works. Kids are not aware of the risks of oral s-ex. Etc, etc, etc.

      Little Johnny sitting in Church doesn't learn about these things. Instead he just learns he's going to hell if he has pre-marital s-ex. Thus, he ends up going to Wal-Mart and purchasing contraceptives that he has no idea to use... well this is if he can even get past the shame of going into Wal-Mart to get them in the first place.

      The number of abortions, unwanted pregnancies, ST-D's etc that have been created by the lack of se-xual education proliferated by religion are countless. Once again, the Bible Belt has BY FAR the highest number of teen pregnancies anywhere in the country and there is no wonder as to why...

      Peace.

      February 21, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  12. asb

    I love how fathers have absolutely no say in whether a woman has an abortion or not. I mean why should he. Ask any woman , and she will tell you. "It's MY BODY"..that might be one of the simplest, most selfish arguments out there. What about what the father believes? Is that not his dna as well? There are numerous cases of fathers who wanted the mother to keep the child, yet she chose not to because she wasn't ready for it. I respect a woman's right to chose, but this choice has become hypocritical. " A man should have just as much say, under the law, in regards to the decision to conceive. But it wont happen. Because it's "HER BODY".

    February 20, 2011 at 9:15 am |
  13. Mark from Middle River

    Interesting. Its a funny thing to call the Republicans puppets of the right while not admiting that the Democrats are puppets of the left.

    So much so that in the end with left pulling the strings on the Dems and the Right pulling the strings on the Repubs...

    .... wait isn't this actually "How" government is suppose to work.... we pull on their strings and they do what we say?

    Also, pro-gay?? Notice it was the Pro-Gay Republicans that pushed and passed the Don't tell. And this would be "AFTER" Pelosi and company left the Gays and Lesbians out to dry for two years. Why are you saying that now that the Dems are "pro-gay"?

    So, ..sorry Davey... just like the African American community, you Dems do a lot of talk wanting to save minorities but in reality yall' just want to keep them downtrodden so that they continue to vote for your party. Two years !!! and had to wait for the Log Cabin branch of the Republicans to force Obama and Co. to give them the right to serve our country.

    February 20, 2011 at 6:31 am |
  14. betty-boop

    Although he is only 16 what guts to actually answer the question. I mean even politicians run the other way on this issue.Have to say respect ! In a world where we watch as millions are murdered and starved to death without batting an eye,where children are raised by daycares and schoolsystems,it is heartening to see some of our youth have morals and are willing to defend them and the rights of those who cannot defend themselves.All the glib comments about unwanted children(adoption used to work quite well,but now they sell babies because there are not enough children to adopt out) and supporting being worse than just killing them outright shows the moral fibre of this society.Personally I would be alot more for sterilizing those welfare mothers who have kids just to get more money,or teens who keep getting pregnant,there should be a price for irresponsibility but not the killing of innocents.

    February 20, 2011 at 2:01 am |
  15. BRANDON

    i think it's really cool that justin beiber spoke up against abortion. it's totally his right to voice his opinion as those who oppose it also have that right. the reality is when you get an abortion, you're killing a human life and the person who opts to do that with her life has to live with that. bottom line: a person who chooses to abort a baby is the one who has to find a way to sleep at night in peace – and that's not always an easy thing to do.

    February 20, 2011 at 12:59 am |
  16. Corey J.

    Omfg...he's a kid!!! Leave him alone! He's no US government politician! He couldn't be anyways because he's Canadian for another reason! He has his own views. Leave him be!

    February 20, 2011 at 12:24 am |
  17. Lar

    Shame on the reporter if he asked a teenager what his stand is on abortion. That is not a topic a stranger should cover with a teenager.

    February 19, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
    • Steph

      Agreed, but on the same token he's a young man with convictions and beliefs that he isn't afraid to state. In today's society, that's a rarity.

      February 22, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
  18. Jenn

    Finally someone famous has an interview/story done on them and it isn't because they are stealing, strung out, breaking the law etc... I find it impressive that a young man in his position shares his beliefs and convictions without shame. Of course those that function with their heads firmly up their rears are going to shred him, but I am sure he will hardly notice. I find it rather sad that more people are concerned about being politically correct than they are about being honest about their views and risking the judgment of others.

    February 19, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
  19. Dave

    How about this: If you need an abortion, go have one. If you don't believe in abortion, don't have one. Just make sure that you find a way to adequately take care of the child, and mind your own business. I don't want to hear about your religion and I sure as hell don't want to hear how awful you think people are for having abortions.

    February 19, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • Curtis

      Unfortunately Dave, this isn't a response.
      If Bieber and other pro-lifers are correct, than a human being is being killed in the act of abortion. It has pretty well been a historic and universal sentiment that individuals and society at large ought to protect a persons life, especially the vulnerable (thus laws against murder). In fact, I cannot think of a more fundamental and essential element of a society.

      Your point may be valid, if a human being is not killed in the act of an abortion. However, it is this, the humanity of the unborn, the embryo, that must first be determined. Until this is determined, we as a society, and individuals, cannot say abortion is a private decision that should be left to a woman and her doctor, for it may very well not be. There may very well be a third party, a third human being whose life deserves representation.

      Note that although I have strong beliefs about the ethics of abortion. My point is not to determine a goodness of abortion, but to point out that we as a society cannot ignore the question.

      February 20, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  20. Reality

    It is obvious that inte-rcourse and other se-xual activities are out of control with over one million abortions and 19 million cases of S-TDs per year in the USA alone.

    from the CDC-2006

    "Se-xually transmitted diseases (S-TDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psychological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with S-TDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

    How in the world do we get this situation under control? A pill to temporarily eliminate the s-ex drive would be a good start. (Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes, 4/18/2010 described them as anti-desire pills). And teenagers and young adults must be constantly reminded of the dangers of se-xual activity and that oral s-ex, birth control pills, co-ndoms and chast-ity belts are no protection against S-TDs. Might a list of those having a S-TD posted on the Internet help?-Said names would remain until the S-TD has been eliminated with verification by a doctor. Lists of s-exual predators are on-line. Is there a difference between these individuals and those having a ST-D having s-exual relations while infected???

    And then there is this:

    Hmmm, so a growing baby is considered by some to be nothing more than an infection? Talk about having no respect for human life!!!!!

    And Nature or Nature's God is the #1 taker of everyone's life. That gives some rationale for killing the unborn or those suffering from de-mentia, mental disease or Alzheimer's or anyone who might inconvenience your life???
    We constantly battle the forces of nature. We do not succ-umb to these forces by eliminating defenseless children!!!!!

    February 19, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.