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Posted at 5:12 PM ET, 02/16/2011

Justin Bieber's tough love on abortion

By Jonathan Capehart

Just the sight of Justin Bieber elicits an eye roll from me. I mean, what's up with that hair? And he has a 3-D movie out about his life? He's only 16! But it's his political comments in the latest Rolling Stone that have my eyes rolling so hard I can hear my mother saying, "Keep it up. Your eyes are going to stay that way."

BIEBER.jpg

"You guys are evil," Bieber, a Canadian, says. Rolling Stone notes he's joking. "Canada's the best country in the world." He then goes on to say, "We go to the doctor and we don't need to worry about paying him, but here, your whole life, you're broke because of medical bills. My bodyguard's baby was premature, and now he has to pay for it. In Canada, if your baby's premature, he stays in the hospital as long as he needs to, and then you go home."

Fine, there's no arguing with his assessment of the U.S. health-care system. We just went through nearly two years of political hell to get a health-care law -- which is being pecked at by as many court challenges as killer birds pecked at Tippi Hedron.

Surely all that Oh, Canada flag waving and talk of Americans being "evil" will enrage the conservative parents of Bieber's screaming teen girl (and more than a few gay teen boys) base. Given her propensity to attack those who don't believe in American exceptionalism, not to mention attack male youngsters, I can't wait for Sarah Palin's Twitter or Facebook blast against the Bieber for that one.

But the "Baby/baby/baby oh" singer might redeem himself with those conservatives parents once they read what he had to say about abortion.

"I really don't believe in abortion," Bieber says. "It's like killing a baby?" How about in cases of rape? "Um. Well, I think that's really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don't know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven't been in that position, so I wouldn't be able to judge that."

Everything happens for a reason?! That's the same kind of thinking lurking on Capitol Hill, where pro-life lawmakers have tried to narrow abortion exceptions to the never-defined "forcible rape." And a strain of that thinking is in states like South Dakota, where a bill would classify the murder of an abortion provider as justifiable homicide "if committed by any person in the lawful defense of such person, or of his or her husband, wife, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant, or the unborn child of any such enumerated person...."

Bieber is entitled to his opinions, of course. I just wish he'd stick to singing -- such as it is.

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 16, 2011; 5:12 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

"Everything happens for a reason." Yeah, 'cause the guy didn't want to wear a condom, that's the reason for a lot of unintended pregnancies.

As for health care, those comments aren't political, they're just true. The whole rest of the world delivers health care better and more efficiently than we do in the U.S.

Posted by: CoolOnion | February 16, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Maybe all the Bieber fans will stop attacking the websites of real musicians and start lobbying for a single-payer, government funded health care system and the USA can begin to catch up to the rest of the world.

Posted by: thebobbob | February 16, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Surprised you haven't had death threats from Bieberettes or whatever they're called - though they probably didn't get your "such as it is" innuendo.

But seriously Cap'n Capehart, why are you wasting your and our time on this nonsense?

Posted by: 1amnotanumber | February 16, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Surprised you haven't had death threats from Bieberettes or whatever they're called - though they probably didn't get your "such as it is" innuendo.

But seriously Cap'n Capehart, why are you wasting your and our time on this nonsense?

Posted by: 1amnotanumber | February 16, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I think it's important to know the full context of the interview itself. I would like to see the interview as it took place( perhaps a video )only because it sounds like he realized the question was just too heavy for him to answer. I say this only because he did say "I guess I haven't been in that position, so I wouldn't be able to judge that." He is only 16 years old and doesn't have the life experience of the adult interviewing him.

Posted by: sam191 | February 16, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Everything he says is right.Some may say hes ann obnoxious little twit, but hes still right. They're just jealous. I'll go further about the rape scenario...Why kill the baby for something its father did? Then feed the father 3 meals a day ,give him computer access, excercise, paroll, so he can do it again?

Posted by: peterbaguley9 | February 16, 2011 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Obamacare is on its way out. Unconstitutional and unwanted. As for Canada Canadians come to the US for care to avoid the inhuman waits and horrible care.

Posted by: jy151310 | February 16, 2011 6:17 PM | Report abuse

If all 16 year old's think in this way, we will repeal Citizens United verdict by SCOTUS and have a single payer system - just like the rest of the world.

Posted by: GuyFromLa | February 16, 2011 6:26 PM | Report abuse

"Bieber is entitled to his opinions, of course. I just wish he'd stick to singing"

Liberals only care about celebrity opinions when they agree with them.

Posted by: john1513 | February 16, 2011 6:30 PM | Report abuse

biiiieeeeeebbbbbeeeeerrrrrrrr.

Posted by: joeblow111 | February 16, 2011 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Capehart posting on this is ridiculous. After all, we're talking about a 16 year old kid. Bieber is entitled to his opinion especially when asked specific question. Capehart is fine when Justin agrees with him but feels that Bieber should keep quiet when he disagrees. Typical "free speech as long as you agree with me" attitude.

Posted by: bowiemd1 | February 16, 2011 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Who's Justin Bieber??

Posted by: dshepherd2 | February 16, 2011 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Yea - I feel the same way about all those hollywood clowns too - Babs, Alex etc - but boy do THEY get WaPo coverage!! If you're gonna cover these other idiots as "experts" - well - that's what is referred to as "news" in WaPo!

Posted by: RobinK59 | February 16, 2011 6:45 PM | Report abuse

If someone can tell me how many rape and incests abortions are performed each year in the US or just in Jersey that would be interesting stat for us all to see. My opinion is everyone has one as does Justin Beiber. He is young and connects with teens, tweens, elementary and infants, just like most other children. Why wouldn't this hit home to him? Isn't it ok that he respects life in a world filled with jaded people?

Posted by: leftmarriedright | February 16, 2011 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Justin is 16 and you are over 21 so your frontal lobes should be developed but maybe not and that is your excuse for writing this nonsense.

Posted by: chucke2 | February 16, 2011 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Justin is 16 and you are over 21 so your frontal lobes should be developed but maybe not and that is you excuse for writing this nonsense.

Posted by: chucke2 | February 16, 2011 7:02 PM | Report abuse

To all the idiots like Jon Capehart - what the heck do you think a 16 year old kid should say? The guy you should be picking on is the reporter. Bieber probably wanted to do the interview and thought it was about his movie or music or whatever, but not abortion and health care. Come on, seriously, think a little bit.

Posted by: Mattlarson | February 16, 2011 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Of course, "there's no arguing with [Bieber's] assessment of the U.S. healthcare system" ... which just so happens to match up with Capehart's. If Bieber's such an idiot, perhaps Capehart ought to consider his own opinion on healthcare.

Posted by: willdd | February 16, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Of course, "there's no arguing with [Bieber's] assessment of the U.S. healthcare system" ... which just so happens to match up with Capehart's. If Bieber's such an idiot, perhaps Capehart ought to reconsider his own opinion on healthcare.

Posted by: willdd | February 16, 2011 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Of course he has no idea about any of this stuff...he's 16. I could really care less about what he had to say on the subject of abortion, because he is only 16. You really cannot criticize Justin Bieber like you would criticize politicians. This article makes a mountain out of a molehill.

Posted by: GeorgeWKush | February 16, 2011 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a huge Bieber fan but I really respect him for being pro-life. We need more people like that in this day and age. Abortion is abortion no matter what the situation is. It's murder of an innocent child. I hate it when people selfishly think that abortion is alright. They act like the baby actually had a say in being concieved. Every unborn child has the God given right to see the world, live, learn, and grow. Adoption is a much better option. Oh and Capehart? You're a grown man. Stop rolling your eyes.

Posted by: torim002 | February 16, 2011 8:15 PM | Report abuse

That's right dude ... focus on the grand 1% of all abortions that are due to rape ... forget about all those babies being snuffed out to make the Holocaust look like a frat party ... it's all in the suit that you wear ... enjoy your echo chamber ...

Posted by: cunn9305 | February 16, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

This is ridiculous. Let us count the ways:

1. He is 16. Why is he being asked these questions in the first place? Doing so was out of line, because he is just a kid.

2. He will have a much different view of abortion than most. He is the son of an unwed teenage mother, who got pregnant at 17. It's hardly a secret that those facts put him in the probable category of being aborted or put up for adoption. And, again, since he is a kid, that has probably had a lot of influence on him.

3. The writer was setting this up. Bieber's mom is a devout, born-again Christian. Whatever he thinks, did the writer have any doubt what Bieber would say, given that he knew his mom would be reading it? Or maybe even standing right there?

4. I think he handled it pretty well. Ok, he's anti-abortion, maybe. (no surprise, given what I wrote above.) And he realized he messed up on the rape question, and said it was basically beyond his experience. For a kid, not bad.

5. As for healthcare -- he knows what he has grown up with. So he likes it. (And maybe he's right.)

6. Most important: Why is Capehart writing about this? A kid was asked a stupid question that came out of nowhere, he gave an (unprepared but not terrible) answer. And now you come in to slam the kid? Act like he's some sort of politician?

As for all the people insulting him, here's the deal: He's successful, and worked hard to get there. From what I've heard, he taught himself multiple instruments. I was impressed with what I saw at the Grammies. He makes lots of people happy. And you grumble about it like he should be Mozart.

Just let people enjoy his music. He's nothing more than an entertainer. And a kid.

Posted by: domitron | February 16, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Well the kid has a heathcare point! ... and let's cut him some slack, I'm sure the abortion question threw him off guard! I took my daughter to his movie, talented, well grounded, fun teenager! I actually think this article is worse then any comments he made. Who degrates an innocent kid trying to do his best? ....

Posted by: danyelle_twb28 | February 16, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine getting all heated up about the jabberings of a 16 year old. He can't run for president until the 2032 election.

Posted by: BobNH | February 16, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine getting all heated up about the jabberings of a 16 year old. He can't run for president until the 2032 election.

Posted by: BobNH | February 16, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Is Justin Bieber old enough to get a girl pregnant?

(a) Yes
(b) No

Is it reasonable to expect someone capable of bringing life into the world to know their options regarding birth control and to have an opinion on what happens if that birth control fails?

(a) Yes
(b) No

Whether or not you agree, if he's 16, he's not "just a kid" and he is likely either already sexually active or soon to be sexually active. He should well know the risks and responsibilities associated with sex, and with that education is entitled to his position on abortion. And if you think 16 year olds don't know enough to make an informed decision regarding abortion, perhaps we should stop looking at them as "just kids" and treat their sexual education as such.

Posted by: sm1th0987 | February 16, 2011 9:56 PM | Report abuse

to sm1th0987:

There is a huge difference between having an opinion about sexual issues as a 16 year old, and being asked to tell them to the world in Rolling Stone based on a surprise question. Particularly when your mom and your label and your fans are listening in.

So yes, he's a kid. And he handled the questions better than I would have expected. But most important: I don't care what his opinions are on topics like this. Because....he's a kid. I'm also not going to consult Mylie Cyrus on deficit reduction or the Jonas Brothers on climate change either, because I don't care what they have to say. Cause....they're kids.

Posted by: domitron | February 16, 2011 10:22 PM | Report abuse

If Justin got sick... he'd be treated where ?

In America... just like a hundred thousand of rich and not-so-rich Canadians do every year.

Even the former Premiers of Quebec and Newfoundland... entitled to the best possible care in Canada.. chose to have their cancer and heart surgeries in America.

My daughter waited 10 months before the Canadian doctors removed a cancerous ovary.. they apologized for the delay. My friend's wife had her aggressive cancerous leg tumor removed in 3 days .. in North Carolina.

My Canadian brother-in-law faced with a 18 month wait ? had his knee surgery at a private Paris clinic.. and the list goes on.

America has the best health care.. yes at a high price.. but many Canadians will be pissed if you mess it up under Obamacare.

Posted by: pvilso24 | February 16, 2011 11:03 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine getting all heated up about the jabberings of a 16 year old. He can't run for president until the 2032 election.

Posted by: BobNH |
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Um, actually he cannot be President, as he was born in CANADA.
You know, that big foreign country where Tea Party Chief Wingnut Sarah Palin went for her free health care?

Posted by: DCSucks | February 16, 2011 11:26 PM | Report abuse

american health care is insane. had a friend who had his apendix practically explode and when he was rushed to hospital the nurse said they could do nothing for him if he did not have his insurance info available at that moment. ridiculous what goes on here, 13 percent tax in Canada and they get healthcare. hell, i pay 10 percent in my state and i get f-all. Canadians should brag, they got it all over us, we are shameful. As far as Bieber goes, seems the untalented Canadians can always bank on americas poor taste in music. The talented Canadians are stars in Canada and 1/10th as rich.

Posted by: shinae99 | February 17, 2011 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps the dear little Bieber boy ought to consider some history before he spouts off about things that are none of his business. He can begin by watching this video then considering the symbolism of the coat hanger.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zCJigrTb9Q

Posted by: MoralPilgrim | February 17, 2011 7:04 AM | Report abuse

@jy151310
I'm not sure where you get the idea that there are long wait times for life threatening surgeries in Canada but you are very wrong. Let me assure you, the only waiting you will do is for elective surgeries (non life-threatening). I can attest to that. See the thing is, if you are unsatisfied with what your own doctor tells you , you are more than welcome to seek the opinion and services of another doctor.
Health care is a right, despite what your republican friends may tell you.

We DON'T have long waiting lines, we DON'T pay higher taxes, we CAN see whatever doctor we choose, despite having a family doctor. The list goes on.

As for our politicians who have crossed the border for health services, they have said themselves it was not a reflection on the health care system in Canada, they are referred to Canadian Doctors in the US who specialize in rare procedures and are most often reimbursed by the Canadian gov't for any monies they may have put forth.

As for the Tax rate, it varies from province to province, some don't have one at all. I owned my own business and did very well financially, and never paid a dime in taxes for health care.

As for Bieber, he's 16 years old, his opinions on abortion and such will most likely evolve over time. I personally find it disturbing that this question was even asked of him. However, like he said, as he has never been in that situation, he wasn't one to judge. I am also pretty confident that if he ever did get sick, he would go home to Canada, why pay for something that you can get for free!

Posted by: sam191 | February 17, 2011 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Ah to be sixteen again and clueless! Even a clueless celebrity! And he's a guy yet. How can he possibly understand what women go through with an unwanted pregnancy. To grow up and understand there are intense shadings involved in life...not just black and white photos.
Let's talk to him ten years hence, and twenty years hency and see where his life goes...

Posted by: christine7 | February 17, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

"Why should the baby be punished for something its father did?" Ah, the classic cry of the anti-choice rape apologist. Maybe you can answer this question: Why should the WOMAN (remember her?) be punished for something that was done to her AGAINST HER WILL? Wasn't one hostile takeover of her body enough? Why shuld she have to live with yet another daily reminder of someone else's hatred and violence against her?

Justin Bieber is an uninformed twit. He's almost 17 and has been in the spotlight for, what, two years now? He can speak out against anti-gay bullying, but thinks rape is "really sad" but that it "happens for a reason"? If he's going to make ignorant comments like that, he'd better be ready to take the heat for them, teenager or no. There are (unfortunately) a lot of young girls who take Bieber seriously, something of which I'm sure he's well aware. What does it mean for them when someone they idolize sees them as walking incubators?

Posted by: Icewyche | February 17, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Where were his handlers? He's sixteen - what does he know. Of course, at that age they think they know everything. At least that's what my mother use to tell me.

Posted by: rlj1 | February 17, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

this kid has some more growing up to do i'm not going to take him too seriously. as for the lunacy in south dakota it looks like common sense will prevail. check out this blog that talks about the bill
http://thejustme-blog.blogspot.com/

Posted by: news_reader1 | February 17, 2011 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I would like to preface this comment by stating that I am not some obnoxious teen girl in love with Justin Bieber. And his music is definitely not my scene.

I came across excerpts from Justin's interview on Rolling Stone's website yesterday. Even though I do not necessarily agree with some of his statements, he has every right to voice his opinion.

I find it laughable that you, Mr. Capehart, applauded his opinion on healthcare because you AGREED with him. Then, you decide to go the petty route as soon as you don't agree with the kid. Really, what does Sarah Palin have to do with this? I'm not a fan of her either, but you sound like a child by needlessly bringing her up in this article.

(And to some of the others commenting on this article: teenagers are not automatically idiots and ill-informed because of their age. People don't just suddenly become wise and able to make important decisions. Adults are a product of their upbringing -- we all had to start somewhere, right?)

Why is it okay for celebrities to stray from their day jobs when you agree with their political views, but not when you disagree with them? He may not be American, but he still has the right to voice his opinion without some journalist who has nothing better to do writing a petty article about him. Grow up, sir.

Posted by: christinam21 | February 17, 2011 11:01 PM | Report abuse

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