By Kim Schwartz, Texas Right to Life
Jamie Lynn Spears revealed the pressure she faced to abort her baby when she became pregnant at 16.
Sharing her story on an episode of “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!”, the 32-year-old actress told fellow contestants with tears, “When I first got pregnant, they didn’t want me to have the baby.” Adults around her relentlessly told her abortion was her best option.
As a teen, Spears starred in Nickelodeon’s “Zoey 101” and found out she was pregnant just after the show filmed its last season.
Spears recalled, “After I finished ‘Zoey’, I had the love of my life, what I thought, I decided to keep the baby. I was 16. The whole world was like, ‘You’re a s**t, you’re horrible, your life is over ‘… Because I got pregnant young and I was on a kids’ show.”
“I had to go hide away for a long time because [my parents]were relentless,” she recalled of the adversity she endured from her own parents. “I moved to Mississippi and literally hid.”
“I had 20 paparazzi on me every day,” Spears revealed. “They wouldn’t leave me alone. They came and lived in Mississippi [in]the middle of nowhere. It was horrible.”
“I hated it so much, I just wanted to be normal because I wanted my baby to be normal. And everybody told me I was gonna be a horrible mom, so I was like, ‘I gotta raise this baby by myself.’ And so I did,” she said.
Because Spears stood strong against the pressure to have an abortion, her daughter, Maddie Briann Aldridge, is 15 years old today. Spears married her husband, Jamie Watson, in 2014, and the couple welcomed another daughter, Ivey Joan, in 2018.
This isn’t the first time Spears has opened up about the pressure she faced during her pregnancy. In her book, “Things I Should Have Said,” she explained that the people closest to her “… came to my room trying to convince me that having a baby at this point in my life was a terrible idea… ‘It will kill your career. You are just too young. You don’t know what you’re doing. There are pills you can take. We can help you take care of this problem… I know a doctor.’”
She continued, “[E]veryone around me just wanted to make this ‘issue’ disappear” and “everyone was certain that termination would be the best course of action.”
Tragically, her sister Britney Spears faced similar circumstances but a different outcome. Britney became pregnant at 19 years old when she dated Justin Timberlake in the early 2000s.
The singer wrote in her recent memoir that Timberlake wanted her to have an abortion. Spears recalled, “If it had been left up to me alone, I never would have done it… To this day, it’s one of the most agonizing things I have ever experienced in my life.”
A 2023 study revealed that millions of U.S. women experienced unwanted abortions. One in four women described their abortions as “unwanted or coerced” and 60% would have preferred to give birth if they had received either more emotional support or had more financial security.
No mother should ever feel that abortion is her best option. As Christians, we have a responsibility to give grace and compassion to any young woman who becomes pregnant, unlike the condemnation, ridicule, and pressure to abort that Jamie Lynn faced.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Texas Right to Life and is reposted with permission.