HOLLYWOOD, CA, May 19, 2014 ( – Soul songstress Toni Braxton wondered if her youngest son's diagnosis with autism, her bout with lupus, and her parents' contentious divorce were God's punishment for her 2001 abortion.

Braxton, whose 22-year career has seen her score number one songs in the United States and around the world, made the heartbreaking decision to abort her child in 2001, according to her forthcoming autobiography, Unbreak My Heart: A Memoir.

At the time she was taking the acne medication Accutane, which can produce severe birth defects. But she said at the time she would have opted to abort the child regardless of her prescription, merely out of convenience.


“I am more ashamed of myself for doing that,” she said in an interview that will air this evening on Entertainment Tonight.

At the time, she was engaged to Kari Lewis, whom she married and subsequently divorced. They had two children: Denim and Diezel. She writes in the book, which goes on sale tomorrow, that she “believed that God’s payback was to give my son autism.”

“Is God punishing me for that abortion?” she wondered.

She later speculated that her struggle with lupus and her parents' divorce might be more divine retribution.

Post-abortion grief, even feelings that God is punishing the women for their actions, is common, even among the famous.

After she had a miscarriage on the evening of the British National Television Awards, UK reality TV star Gemma Collins said, The miscarriage felt like God’s way of punishing me” for a previous abortion.

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Another entertainer, Happy Days star and rock singer Suzi Quatro, remains haunted by her abortion, she said last year.

Yet the same stories pervade every level of the post-abortion experience. One woman, who said she is “pro-choice,” told CNN a similar story to that of the R&B singer.

Like Braxton, she had an abortion before giving birth to two children. “I think about what that child might have been, might have been like often, especially on the anniversary,” she wrote. “Then in 2001 our daughter was suddenly killed. I couldn't help but wonder if this was God's way of punishing me/us.”

Post-abortion counselors, as well as most traditional Christian theologians, believe God's “love…is for correction, but it does not aim at retribution.”

Many post-abortive women have found acceptance, support, and emotional healing through ministries like Rachel's Vineyard, the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, Operation Outcry, and Project Rachel.


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