‘I’d like to have my child’: newly uncovered Michael Jackson song tackles abortion
LOS ANGELES, September 21, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The King of Pop is dead, but he has a message from beyond the grave about life: unborn life.
This past week, Sony released a 25th anniversary edition of Jackson’s album Bad, which includes several brand new songs that had previously never made it past the cutting room floor. One of these, “Song Groove (a.k.a. Abortion Papers),” has riled abortion activists by tackling the issue of abortion in a way that is decidedly sympathetic to the pro-life outlook.
“Abortion Papers,” which Jackson recorded in the 1980s, tells the story of a pregnant woman who is considering abortion, apparently against the wishes of the baby’s father. The lyrics are sometimes obtuse, and sometimes difficult to make out, but the message becomes clear in the chorus:
Those abortion papers
Signed in your name against the words of God
Those abortion papers
Think about life, I’d like to have my child
On numerous occasions the narrator questions the abortion asking, “What about love?” and “What about God?”
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Joseph Vogel at The Atlantic reports that in his notes about the song, Michael Jackson expressed his concern about getting his message across in a non-judgmental way.
“I have to do it in a way so I don’t offend girls who have gotten abortions or bring back guilt trips so it has to be done carefully…I have to really think about it,” Jackson reportedly wrote.
Matt Forger, an audio engineer who worked with Jackson for years, says that technicians who were working on archiving the King of Pop’s recordings initially “overlooked” the song. But when they did finally hear it, they “knew it could be controversial, especially with what’s been going on politically.”
“But when you listen to the song there’s a story being told,” says Forger. “Michael really reflected on what the approach should be. He wasn’t sure how to narrate it. There were different variations with vocals—he didn’t want it to be judgmental. He was very clear about that. But he wanted to present a real, complicated situation.”
But whatever Jackson’s intentions, the song has been given a less than enthusiastic welcome by some abortion activists.
Popular feminist writer Amanda Marcotte took issue with the song’s suggestion that a father might have any rights over his own child in a post on Slate magazine, describing the song as “a Christianity-heavy screed chastising a woman for choosing abortion instead of giving the narrator the child he is entitled to.”
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