Pro-life leaders react to heightened celebrity embrace of motherhood: ‘Now the baby bump is accentuated’

In the media

Rihanna was the latest celebrity to reveal her pregnancy in high-profile way at this year’s Super Bowl

The most talked about moment of Rihanna’s Super Bowl LVII halftime performance wasn’t related to her music, but her baby bump reveal.

Fans speculated about a second pregnancy as Rihanna rubbed her stomach as she opened the show. The rumors were confirmed to be true, and she is now the first woman to headline the Super Bowl while pregnant.

“Oh, my God, it’s legendary,” Rihanna told Vogue of motherhood in a recent interview. “It’s everything. You really don’t remember life before, that’s the craziest thing ever.”

Rihanna is just the latest high-profile celebrity to celebrate her pregnancy so publicly in recent years. Keke Palmer proudly showed off her baby bump while hosting “Saturday Night Live” in December, while Cardi B showed off her tummy at the 2021 BET Awards, marking the second time the rapper announced her pregnancy on live television.

Singer Jessie J joyfully described her pregnancy as a blessing in an Instagram reveal.

“The anxiety in the beginning was overwhelming and I felt like I had my eyes closed, just hoping it all would continue to go welI,” she wrote. “I don’t take a second of this for granted and continue to pray for a safe landing for my baby every day… I know I have been blessed with the biggest gift I will ever receive.”

Other outlets have celebrated some of the things famous athletes or figures have accomplished while pregnant, such as an expectant Serena Williams winning the Australian Open in 2017.

It’s a very good conversation to have, some pro-life leaders say.

“When celebrities appear pregnant, the multitudes begin to speculate about ‘the new baby,’” pro-life Nigerian writer Obianuju Ekeocha wrote. “No one thinks of her fetus, or the possibility of the ‘mother’s right to chose’…it’s all baby talk, it’s human life, it’s excitement. Very good. Let us abolish abortion, pregnancy is good.”

But other pro-life leaders and activists doubted celebrities are sending the right message, arguing it’s hard to appreciate Hollywood’s embrace of the “baby bump” while many in the industry still promote abortion rights.

“I’m not sure this is a new phenomenon; there’s always been a big celebration of baby bumps in celebrity magazines and culture. What is different about this moment is that pregnancies used to be hidden much more frequently,” Bethany Mandel, an author and homeschooling mother of five, told Fox News Digital. “Now the ‘baby bump’ is accentuated instead of concealed.”

“But I don’t think celebrities are excited about life or motherhood; they’re able to compartmentalize their celebration of a ‘bump’ from their activism on abortion,” she continued. “The bump is an accessory, not a person, and motherhood is just a shallow experience represented by photographs in magazines of birthday parties and beach vacations.”

“No matter what celebrities may feel compelled to say about abortion, there is nothing as hopeful and joyful as a baby,” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America/SFLAction, told Fox News Digital. “That’s the beauty and strength of not just the pro-life movement, but of all world cultures, as there are things we do to make money, and there are things we do that breathe life into our day and our future.”

“Having a family is the best gift of all, and celebrating family and children puts everything in context,” she continued. “Children are a gift that changes the receiver, making them more than a consumer or a worker or an activist. Life is a beautiful choice.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, spoke of the trend toward life in general, saying it’s “no surprise” that the pro-life message is becoming more attractive.

“It is no surprise that more and more women are rejecting the empty promises of the pro-abortion movement, after two generations of broken lives, families and dreams, and embracing life instead,” Dannenfelser told Fox News Digital. “Our natural instinct is to celebrate news of a baby on the way, while abortion recovery rooms are not places of celebration. In every town and city in the United States, there is a community of people ready to affirm the natural love a mother already has for her child and walk alongside her – not forcing the false choice between her hopes and her baby’s life, but loving and serving them both.”