When singer and actress Alicia Keys found out she was pregnant with her second son, she initially felt there was no way she could see the pregnancy through. But after wrestling with her decision, Keys realized that if she chose an abortion, she would deny her child the chance to make a difference in the world and impact the lives of other people.
“How could I take away the potential for this beautiful child, this light that could touch others in ways I couldn’t dream of?” asked Keys in an excerpt from her new memoir, More Myself, that she shared with People magazine.
Alicia Keys Makes a Choice
Alicia Keys came to fame in 2001 when she released her first album, Songs in A Minor, which had the hit single, “Fallin’” on it. She has since had a successful career with 29 Grammy nominations and 15 wins. Keys married producer and rapper Swizz Beatz in 2010, the same year the couple had their first son together. When the singer found out in 2014 that she was four months along with their second child, she was in a hectic season of life. “This is the worst time ever,” she told her doctor. “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.”
Modern culture celebrates a woman’s “right” to choose an abortion, as actress Michelle Williams did in a recent award speech where she implied that abortion has enabled her to have a successful career. Said Williams, “I’ve tried my very best to make a life of my own making…I wouldn’t have been able to do this without employing a women’s right to choose. To choose when to have children, and with whom.”
But as Keys wrestled with what to do, the words of a song she and her husband had written together encouraged her that she had the strength to handle having a baby, despite the timing. “While I was struggling over my choice,” she said, “I went into the studio one evening and began listening to ‘More Than We Know’…The lyrics are about how we’re capable of so much more than we can ever imagine.” Listening to the song moved the singer to tears. She said, “For me, the song was a powerful message that I should go on with the pregnancy.”
Wrestling over her decision to choose life for her son has given Keys more insight into her own mother, who had to make a similar decision. Keys’ mother, Teresa Augello, had a short relationship with Keys’ father, during which Augello became pregnant. Augello ended up raising Keys as a single mother—but only after considering an abortion.
Augello’s decision was even more challenging than her daughter’s because Augello was raising her child on her own and had little money. Keys told NPR, “I grew up with not much and my mother had to work from paycheck to paycheck all the time.” The fact that her mother went through a struggle that corresponded to hers was something Keys discovered through working on the memoir.
“She chose me, even through all the difficulties,” the singer told People. “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.”