Musicians react to Supreme Court decision on abortion rights : NPR

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Megan Thee Stallion, performing at the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, UK on Saturday. June 25, 2022. During her set, Megan spoke out against the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images


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Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images


Megan Thee Stallion, performing at the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, UK on Saturday. June 25, 2022. During her set, Megan spoke out against the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images

When the Supreme Court released its decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on Friday, effectively overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that codified abortion rights, social media predictably exploded with a myriad of responses.

The musicians were among those who spoke up immediately, and their reactions – mostly against the court’s decision – were as creative as the beats and melodies that made them famous. Many have taken to Twitter and Instagram. Others have spoken from the highly visible stages of Glastonbury and the BET Awards, which have become pulpits of intimidation for people demanding respect for individual freedoms. A few musicians quickly wrote songs in response to the rulings or rewrote Americana chestnuts – including, in one memorable instance, “The Star-Spangled Banner”. Several music industry stars and bands, including Lizzo and Rage Against the Machine, have pledged big profits on upcoming tours to support abortion rights groups.

Here is a running list of musician reactions and actions:

  • Taylor Swift tweeted quote Michelle Obama’s statement on the Supreme Court decision, adding that she was “absolutely terrified” by the ruling.
  • Janelle Monae took a time to overturn the supreme court at the BET Awards.
  • “F*** the Supreme Court,” said Lorde during his own Glastonbury set.
  • Mariah Carey reflected on the impact of the decision on future generations on Twitter.
  • Charlie XCX encouraged people around the world to take action to protect access to abortion.
  • P!nk caught on Twitter to tell her fans that if they didn’t believe in her values, she didn’t want them to support her.
  • Amanda Shire open about deciding to speak out about her abortion, saying, “I feel like the God I believe in gave me the brains and the mind and the knowledge to know what I should be able to do with my body”:

  • Breland underlined the need for everyone to stand up for access to abortion, and said it was just the start of an “anthem of oppression and control”.
  • Brandi Carlile added a note of hope to her protest, according to Varietyexpressing his faith in the majority of Americans and encouraging his fans to let out your emotions.
  • Brittany Howard of The Alabama Shakes linked abortion rights to police brutality and capitalism, saying“Anger on anger on anger. This system has let us down yet again.”
  • On Twitter, American singer-songwriter Jason Isbell mentioned how gerrymandering shaped the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision, adding, “That’s not what people want.”
  • Sadler Vaden, a solo artist who also plays guitar in Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, tweeted in support of body autonomy, to add that it was a “sad day for our country”.
  • Americana’s Favorite Son, Lukas Nelson quickly wrote a heartfelt ballad on the consequences that the lack of access to abortion will have:

  • Country artist and Apple Radio host Rissi Palmer offered a heartfelt and heartbreaking account of a miscarriage to illustrate the variety of pregnancy experiences affected by the SCOTUS decision.
  • Singer-songwriter Lauren Jenkins demand where the voices of mainstream country artists were right now.
  • Singer-songwriter Michaela Anne speculated about the possible effects of the January 6 hearings on the integrity of Supreme Court justices appointed by Donald Trump.
  • Country singer Kaitlin Butts refers to the emotional end of one Song by Billie Eilish to express their feelings about the decision.
  • In line with decades of pro-choice activism, Pearl Jam encouraged the fans to support organizations focused on providing and supporting access to abortion.
  • On stage at Glastonbury, Megan Thee Stallion said her home state of Texas was “really embarrassing me right now” and lead the crowd to sing “my body, my fucking choice”:

  • Paramore singer Hayley Williams shared her sadness and anger on Instagramand directed fans to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood.
  • Singer-songwriter Kristen Hersh shared a video of her performing a song she calls a “childbirth song” in 2015:

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  • Hooray for the Riff Raff encouraged the fans to share information about abortion access organizations, and linked to the New Orleans Abortion Fund.
  • Maggie Rogers wrote: “Abortion is health. Bodily autonomy is a human right.”
  • Pop duo Sylvan Esso tweeted that “we are full of rage”, adding that the band would “play this festival tonight and go straight to dc to protest”.
  • MAITA rock songwriter was succinct about his frustrations.
  • Paula Cole declared that the decision “formally ratified gender apartheid”.
  • Kathy Valentine, bassist and guitarist of revolutionary girl band The Go-Go’s job: “It breaks my heart to think of all the intelligent, creative, innovative minds and careers of women” limited by judgment.
  • Public Enemy’s ever-outspoken frontman Chuck D just saycalling the decision “F ascis m.”
  • In accepting the award for best female R&B/Pop artist at the BET Awards, Jazmine Sullivan called on men to stand up for women’s rights. “It’s not just a women’s issue,” she said. “It’s everybody’s business.”

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  • According to GuardianKendrick Lamar concluded his electrifying performance at Glastonbury with an improvised reworking of the song “Savior”, intoning “Godspeed for women’s rights / They Judge you, They Judge Christ”.
  • Alicia’s Keys retweeted former President Obama’s tweet, adding that the decision “isn’t just about abortion, it’s about who has power over you.”
  • Puerto Rican superstar Bad Bunny retweeded Ohio rep Shontel Brown, who expressed his frustration recent Supreme Court rulings on gun control and abortion rights.
  • Rosalia retweeted an image of a sign invoking his nickname “Motomami” and reading “fight for your rights”:

  • Singer-songwriter Helado Negro share a link to donate to abortion funds across the country.
  • Acclaimed jazz pianist Vijay Iyer retweeted part of Judge Thomas’ opinion, calling it “cruel and deranged”.
  • The Nashville Bully group shared resources on abortion as a backdrop to its decor at Nashville Pride on Sunday.
  • Covering Vic Chesnutt’s song “Blight”, revered jam band Widespread Panic added the lyrics“Support your woman, because a woman’s body is her fucking own.”
  • Rap group Earthgang expressed their frustration with the Supreme Court ruling from the stage of a concert, share a video on Instagram:

  • Eminem shares his anger with the decision as a father of three and shared abortion resources in Michigan.
  • Cher, the superstar always online warned that Americans should “BE VERY AFRAID”
  • After posting a comment on how the decision affects family members beyond women, the iconic singer-songwriter posed with a handmade sign: “Don’t despair, get organized and vote.”
  • Cyndi Lauper published a new version of her 1993 song “Sally’s Pigeons”, about a girl who dies after a clandestine abortion, following the ruling:

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  • Jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater sworn to “never stop fighting for women’s rights”.
  • A few days after the release of an album including the song “Baby, I had an abortion“, Ren Aldridge, lead singer of the Petrol Girls published an editorial on the subject in a music magazine Kerrang!
  • In a series of tweets, Mountain Goats leader John Darnielle decried “centrists” for allowing the right to choose to slip into jeopardy.
  • The Twitter feed of Drive-By Truckers was full of warnings about America’s “sliding into fascism”.
  • Hayley Kiyoko declared herself “I have a stomach ache” and called on his fans to fight back.
  • “Check your friends,” wrote pop superstar Harry Styles on a friendly note to fans on “a truly dark day for America”.
  • Among other comments, Questlove speculated that Beyoncé’s latest anthem, “BREAK MY SOUL,” may become more needed after the ruling.

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