Alicia Keys is familiar with reproductive rights, the stigma surrounding abortion and what it is like to make a difficult decision.
Alicia revealed her personal struggle in deciding whether or not to go through with her second pregnancy back in 2014 after she discovered she was four months pregnant in her new book, More Myself.
At the time, the mother-of-one, who married producer and rapper Swizz Beatz in 2010, was working on her sixth studio album, Here, and was not planning on raising a child.
“I wasn’t ready for this, which is what I told the doctor,” Alicia revealed to People in a recent interview.
“‘This is the worst time ever. I’m working on my next album. My husband just got into Harvard Business School. And I’ve been drinking — a lot.’ I left her office feeling so torn.”
Alicia went on to say how she had planned to heavily focus on her career that year, and the unexpected news made her contemplate whether or not she wanted to go through with the pregnancy.
“The music I was creating felt more important and urgent than just about everything,” Alicia said. “I’d have to put off its release for at least a year if I chose to have the baby.”
Alicia had an epiphany during a studio session while listening to a song both she and her husband had worked on.
“While I was struggling over my choice, I went into the studio one evening and began listening to ‘More Than We Know,’ a song Swizz and I had written,” Alicia went on.
“The lyrics are about how we’re capable of so much more than we can ever imagine. My eyes filled with tears. How could I take away the potential for this beautiful child, this light that could touch others in ways I couldn’t dream of. For me, the song was a powerful message that I should go on with the pregnancy.”
In Dec. 2014, Alicia and Swizz welcomed their second son, Genesis. Alicia has since learned that her mother also considered getting an abortion when she was pregnant with her. After a brief relationship with her father, her mother decided to go through with the pregnancy and raise Alicia on her own after.
“It wasn’t until writing this that I realized, ‘Oh s—, she chose me,’ even through all the difficulties,” Alicia said. “How would she ever know what I was brought here to do? In a way we are parallel, but I didn’t even know that.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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