Today, news accounts of singer/reality TV star Toni Braxton‘s soon-to-be-released memoir “Unbreak My Heart” is creating debate of a quote over whether God was punishing her for a past abortion by giving her youngest son, Diezel autism.
As the New York Daily News reports, inside the book, she explains how 10 years ago she got pregnant while taking the intense acne medication Accutane which has the side effect of causing birth defects in children born to women taking the drug. Braxton, who currently stars with her sisters in the WETV show Braxton Family Values, said she aborted the baby but later added she would’ve ended the pregnancy anyway out of convenience. She was dating at the time her then-boyfriend Keri Lewis who she later married and bore two sons for Diezel Ky and Denim Cole.
“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… In my heart, I believed I had taken a life — an action that I thought God might one day punish me for. … My initial rage was quickly followed by another strong emotion: guilt. I knew I’d taken a life… I believed God’s payback was to give my son autism.”
Some are calling her all sorts of names for what appears to be a horrible thing to say for several reasons, among them (for people of Faith) (1) that it infers that God is not forgiving and is a punishing entity; and (2) that a child with autism is a curse to their parents.
With no judgment on Braxton, it is fair to assume that there are people out there who have thought that struggles to conceive a child or other birth related trauma or problems may have been a punishment from a higher being. As Braxton stated, it is an “odd” admission but she was being open and candid about her beliefs and feelings at that time based on the strict Christian upbringing and her personal faith systems, however flawed it may have been or is perceived as being.
She is being lambasted for saying openly in her book something that many women yesterday, today and tomorrow may say or wonder to themselves, perhaps privately. Let’s not kid ourselves.
Second, she did say later on in the interview and book that she eventually got educated about autism and changed her way of thinking.
People evolve in thought and behavior and reading her words out of context without taking into account that they are part of a growth in understanding is unfair to Braxton.
The only other thing that may be a little bit more off-putting is the fact that she appears to be an anti-vaxxer in that she mentions that her son only began to show signs of having autism after getting a vaccination. Meanwhile, there is a deadly form of measles rampant worldwide from anti-vaxxer offsprings going around contaminating the population.
To help more understand, check out Masters in Special Education’s latest infographic that breaks down simply the history of autism from past to today. Pass it along.