R&B singer: "My managers told me to have an abortion or leave the band"
15 November 2017
Tamika Scott defied pressure to give birth to her baby.
"I made a choice and I stood for what I believe, and God blessed me."
Tamika Scott, of the American 90s R&B band Xscape has recently revealed how she was pressured to abort her baby at the height of her career.
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She made the revelation on the second episode of Xscape Still Kickin' It, and elaborated during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. Tamika explained that when she became pregnant, "everybody was mad...we were ready to make it, and now I'm pregnant, so I had to make a choice."
Not only were her fellow band members furious with her for becoming pregnant just as the group was about to hit fame, Xscape's managers put pressure on her to end the life of her child. "They gave me an ultimatum to stay in the group or have an abortion," she said.
Tamika chose life for her unborn baby, a daughter who she named Ocean. "I made a choice and I stood for what I believe, and God blessed me," she said.
Tried to kick her out
The negativity didn't stop there. When the presenter asked if she was given a hard time after she'd decided to keep the baby, her sister LaTocha Scott said: "Well actually they tried to kick her out of the group, and when they came down to it, I just told them no, if my sister goes then I go...And they were like, oh no, you're not going anywhere! We're gonna work this out."
Tamika stayed in the group and continued her career. And, "I still outdanced them," she joked of her group members.
Another band member said that in the 90s, there was a climate of disapproval when a member of a girl band got pregnant, which caused music industry executives to panic and apply pressure. "Nowadays,” Kandi said, "people have 'baby bump alert' and everybody’s excited, but they weren’t like that in the ’90s."
Tamika's experience is a reminder that many women are pressured, either overtly or more subtly, to have abortions they don't want. In one study, 64% of women reported feeling pressured to abort. The story of Sanya Richards-Ross illustrated the pressures put on female athletes and it is clear that similar coercion takes place in the entertainment industry. Caroline Farrow surely spoke for thousands of ordinary women when she recounted yesterday that one of the factors that made her feel she had no choice than to abort was the fact that continuing the pregnancy would have meant losing her job.
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