Tuesday, February 22, 2011
In a recent interview for Rolling Stone, Justin Bieber discusses his views on sex and abortion, apparently explaining that he opposes abortion even in cases of rape, which he thinks is sad but "happens for a reason." While I certainly disagree with this position, it does have the virtue of consistency: if you think abortion is just "like killing a baby," then it's not clear how you could make an acception for "babies" conceived through rape. More likely though, like many conservatives, Bieber doesn't really think abortion is just "like killing a baby." That might explain the assurances of a "source close to [Bieber]" that he was only "asking for clarification," not making an assertion. (The magazine allegedly omitted a crucial question mark. I guess Bieber wasn't just uptalking?) Let me be clear: Bieber is a teenager who still has a lot of learning and growing to do. It's not fair to judge his positions on abortion as one would those of a government official, activist, or other person who affects public policy on abortion. But it's also important to remember that teenagers like Bieber are influenced by the rhetoric of just these kinds of people. We need to be careful, and consistent, in how we talk about issues like rape and abortion. I've written more on that topic here.