Last year, the rap princess revealed to Rolling Stone a secret she has been harboring for years: that she had an abortion as a teenager. “I thought I was going to die,” she told the magazine of discovering she was pregnant while in high school. “I was a teenager. It was the hardest thing I’d ever gone through.” She says the decision to terminate the pregnancy “has haunted me all my life.”
The femcee was 18 when she found out she had gotten pregnant by her lover, Notorious B.I.G. Biggie was married to R&B singer Faith Evans at the time and reportedly encouraged Lil Kim to get an abortion.
The actress and former beauty queen revealed in her memoir You Have No Idea that she had an abortion as a teen. “Being pregnant is the most frightening thing that happens in your life,” she said on Nightline. “I knew in high school that’s something that I was not prepared to do or fight or struggle with.”
The singer, who was raised in a strict religious household, revealed in her memoir Unbreak My Heart that she had an abortion in 2001. “I was suddenly faced with a choice I’d never thought I’d have to make,” she wrote. “Amid my major misgivings about abortion, I eventually made the gut-wrenching decision.” She said she struggles with the decision to this day. “In my heart, I believed I had taken a life — an action that I thought God might one day punish me for,” she added. “My initial rage was quickly followed by another strong emotion: guilt … believed God’s payback was to give my son [Diezel Ky Braxton-Lewis, now 12] autism.”
The talk show host got emotional when debating abortion law with her co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck on The View, bringing up the race and class dimension to abortion. “We stop at the picket signs and we don’t help you past that!” she said of the double standard of banning abortion but also canceling programs like welfare that young mothers depend on. “I’m speaking as a girl who had a lot of abortions and I swear to God, if they had shown me a picture of the fetus… I would have put my child in a lot of situations that wouldn’t have been good because I didn’t have the mental capacity to deal with having a child.”
The Oscar winner opened up about her harrowing experience with a back-alley abortion in an essay for the bookThe Choices We Made by Angela Bonavoglia. “I found out I was pregnant when I was fourteen. I didn’t get a period. I talked to nobody. I panicked,” The View host wrote. “I sat in hot baths. I drank these strange concoctions girls told me about — something like Johnny Walker Red with a little bit of Clorox, alcohol, baking soda (which probably saved my stomach) and some sort of cream. You mixed it all up. I got violently ill. At that moment I was more afraid of having to explain to anybody what was wrong than of going to the park with a hanger, which is what I did.”
Unlike many women who choose to terminate a pregnancy, the Grammy-winning singer was neither particularly young or single when she decided to have an abortion. Turner already had two children, a son with saxophonistRaymond Hill and another with her husband and manager Ike Turner, when she got pregnant in 1968 a second time by Ike. As we now know, Tina wasn’t in the best mental state at the time (she attempted suicide the same year) and decided not to have another child with her abusive husband.