Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion

Healing the Black Community

Hip Hop Star Nicki Manaj – Abortion and the Sexploitation of Women

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Nicki Minaj 2 Nicki Minaj shares in Rolling Stone Magazine that she had an abortion as a teenager:

Minaj’s first love was an older guy from Queens she dated while attending the prestigious Manhattan performing-arts high school LaGuardia when she discovered she was pregnant.

“It was the hardest thing I’d ever gone through.”

Minaj says the decision to have an abortion has “haunted me all my life…”

While the decision continues to haunt her, Minaj points to the circumstances of the pregnancy, and feeling ill prepared to parent a child:

It’d be contradictory if I said I wasn’t pro-choice. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t have anything to offer a child.”

Hip Hop Superstar: “In Charge of her Own Objectification”

Many years later we read in a 2015 profile in the NY Times that Minaj has developed into a formidable female artist with her music featuring provocative sexual imagery and lyrics:

“In another era, Minaj’s sexuality, expressed semi-parodically — pretending she’s a Barbie doll; glorifying women dressed as prostitutes and set in red-light-district windows — might have given feminists pause.

But in the 2010s, we have entered a different world in pop culture, one in which sexual repression is perceived as burdensome and perhaps even an inability to holistically integrate the body and self.

The author goes on to state that because Minaj is in control of her image, and is an astute businesswoman, her artistic expression does not promote the sexploitation of women:

… Minaj is in charge of her own objectification (describing her vagina with more words than I thought existed, and then amplifying its power by rhyming those words), as well as her own monetization (overt product placement in videos is a hallmark) has led most feminist voices to applaud her.

We know that the music and entertainment industry has their own agenda in advancing the pornification of all media, especially the music videos that are so influential with youth.

But there is another way to understand how this may fit into the experience of a woman who admits publicly that her abortion as a teenager continues to haunt her.

Family Background

Minaj was born Onika Maraj in Trinidad in 1982:

“She moved to the United States several years later (her parents spent two years in the States before she arrived, trying to get settled). Minaj has long emphasized her difficult upbringing — speaking openly about crack cocaine use in her home, in Jamaica, Queens, as well as domestic abuse and an episode when she says her father tried to burn down her house…When I asked if her father abused her, she said: ‘‘No. He was just abusive.’’ (NY Times – The Passion of Nicki Minaj)

With this history in mind, consider her abortion decision.

Minaj’s first love was with an older man from Queens. Perhaps this man for a time offered the love and affection that may have been missing in the relationship with her father. She loved this older man and they were sexually intimate. She shared her body, heart, and soul with him.

How did the father of their child respond to the pregnancy? Minaj does not tell us. We know that a father’s response to the pregnancy is often critical to the unborn child’s survival.

Abortion and Sexploitation

Many of her videos often display Nicki’s body in a highly sexualized context.

This can be understood as a vehicle for Minaj to call attention to the fact that the abortion decision was a physical and emotional rejection of her motherhood.

Minaj was surprised and anxious when she learned of the pregnancy. At the same time her body was naturally gearing up to nurture and protect her unborn child. It was a shock to her body and reproductive system, as well as her heart and soul, when the abortion doctor forced open her cervix and expelled her unborn child.

Her explicit lyrics (“describing her vagina with more words than I thought existed…”) can be understood as calling attention to the experience of early sexual intimacy followed by pregnancy and the physical and emotional experience of the abortion procedure.

Many of the photographs and video of Minaj celebrate her voluptuous, full-figured female beauty. They also call attention to her capacity as a woman to share and nurture the gift of human life.

Amidst the sexually charged content, the pain from her abortion loss has found expression in her music. There is grief and loss for a child that Nicki never held in her arms, and nurtured at her breasts.

In 2014 at age 32, Minaj addressed the loss of a child and her concern for her younger brother Caiah. Caiah was age 16 at the time – the same age her child would be if not aborted.

From the track “All Things Go” from her album “The Pinkprint”:

“My child with Aaron, would’ve been 16 any minute / So in some ways I feel like Caiah is the both of them / It’s like he’s Cai’s little angel looking over him.”

Freedom…or Bondage?

Jesus said “the truth will set you free.”

Conversely, the lie will keep you in bondage.

Nicki Minaj says of her provocative and graphic music video “Anaconda” that is saturated with sexually charged content and images.

“With a video like ‘Anaconda,’ I’m a grown-ass f*#!*! woman!” she says. “I stand for girls wanting to be sexy and dance, but also having a strong sense of themselves. If you got a big ol’ butt? Shake it! Who cares?

This is the false emancipation of the sexual revolution and legalized abortion. A freedom that celebrates the sexploitation and desecration of women, their bodies – and the bodies of their unborn children – as female empowerment.

There is another way.

There is reconciliation, peace and healing for any woman or man who has suffered the loss of a child from abortion.

Kevin Burke, LSW, Co-Founder of Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries, and Janet Morana, Co-Founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.