The Pro-Choice Debate Swirling Around Britney Spears' Conservatorship Controversy

Britney Spears arrives at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards in New York, U.S., August 28, 2016.
Britney Spears arrives at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards in New York, U.S., August 28, 2016. (Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)

Britney Spears is trending on social media this week and it's not because she has released new music.

The pop star is the topic of debates between much of the pro-life, pro-choice communities because of her recent announcement that she wants to have more kids, but her conservatorship has prohibited it.

A conservatorship is a court-appointed individual or organization who cares for someone who cannot care for themselves, especially in financial matters. Spears was placed under the care of her conservator—her father—after she suffered a mental crisis in 2008. Details about the arrangement were only released following her plea to a Los Angeles Superior Court judge on the 23rd.

Spears' father has controlled her $60 million estate since that time, and under the judge's Wednesday ruling on the conservatorship, she is not able to get married or have a baby.

"I was told right now in the conservatorship, I'm not able to get married or have a baby," Spears said during her Wednesday hearing. "I have a [intrauterine device] inside of myself right now so I don't get pregnant. I wanted to take the [IUD] out so I could start trying to have another baby. But this so-called team won't let me go to the doctor to take it out because they don't want me to have children, any more children. So basically, this conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good."

"I deserve to have the same rights as anybody does, by having a child, a family, any of those things, and more so," she concluded at the end of her nearly 24-minute statement.

Critics and supporters alike took to the comments sections to express their opinions, including Planned Parenthood executive Alexis Johnson.

Spears said the conservatorship had left her "traumatized," and brought the idea of "reproductive coercion" to the center of the conversation.

Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director and now a pro-life advocate called out the irony in Alexis Johnson's use of the phrase while also expressing support for Spears.

"Considering that 73% of women who have abortions feel forced or coerced, and your organization is our country's largest abortion provider, you should just SHUT UP," she wrote.

While Spears' conservatorship is unusual in nature, the pro-choice theme is prevalent in many cases like it. Abby Johnson, however, said social media users' support of Spears' "reproductive coercion" is "disingenuous" and "fake outrage."

"The fact that pro-choice people are up in arms about this is so disingenuous," Johnson said in a statement obtained by CBN News. "First, many women are forced or coerced into getting abortions every single day due to pressure from the baby's father, their own family, or their abuser. Second, thousands of women who have abortions are not told that infertility is a possible side effect of abortion if there is a complication, not to mention the long-term side effects of hormonal birth control. Informed consent is practically non-existent in the abortion industry."

"So they are all angry about Britney Spears not being able to get an IUD out, but they say nothing about improper consent and forced abortion?" she added. "It's such fake outrage."

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