Relaymedia

Violence Against Pregnant Women Within Music Lyrics Prompts Pro-life Effort

( [email protected] ) Jul 05, 2004 09:57 PM EDT

Lyrics of a recent remix version of a popular R&B song spawned a Christian grassroot effort to denounce the song that promotes violence against pregnant women who choose not to have abortions. Two pro-life organizations are starting the effort to disqualify the song from being played on radio stations.

Within the lyrics of rapper Joe Budden's remix version of the song "Confessions" by R&B music artist Usher is the line:

"Pray that she abort that, If she's talkin' 'bout keepin' it/One hit to the stomach, She's leakin' it."

The original version of the song, which does not contain the violent message was the No.2 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart late last June.

Care Net, a pro-life grassroots organization that works on improving abortion issues within local cities, is organizing efforts to remove the song from the radio.

Care Net has been actively discussing abortion issues and leading pro-life movements. It is currently planting pregnancy centers in urban areas across the country to educate communities about the abortion problem and to help strengthen pregnancy resource centers. Statistics cited that 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, even suggesting that abortion has "become a form of genocide" within the black community.

Hansen added, "Women face so many pressures -- especially women in urban areas -- from their families, their boyfriends, financial pressures. 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."

Kristin Hansen recently reported to the Baptist Press, "We think these lyrics are completely irresponsible. 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."

In a July 1st report on AllHipHop.com, an interactive Hip-Hop music site, featured artist Budden's mentality on the lyrics of the remixed song.

"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 in defense to criticism, 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."

The artist denied all the charges of saying that the song supports violence against pregnant women and furthermore, attempted to justify the reason males would sing such lyrics.

"When you get somebody pregnant, you can make suggestions, but the bottom line is [women] have the end say-so," Budden 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."

When calling Universal music, the parent company of Island/Def Jam, Hansen received a similar response. The publicist did not return her calls, but when Hansen called the operator, she was told that the remix version was not available on the radio and there were edited versions. In addition, the operator added that Budden has the right to freedom of speech and those who do not wish to listen can choose not to, according to Hansen. The operator declined to be quoted.

Black American for Life, an outreach of the National Right to Life, is also organizing an African-American protest against the song.

"These lyrics are demeaning and outright violent toward both women and unborn children," commented Day Gardner, director of Black Americans for Life. "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 voices hope for Christians to pray and to support Care Net's effort in saving lives of the aborters and the babies within the inner cities.