In case you've been living under a rock, Cardi B is pregnant. (Or the words “Cardi B” mean nothing to you. And in that case, see here.)
What actually may be news to you is that the rapper has somehow become an unexpected (and possibly unwilling) symbol of a controversial cause: the antiabortion movement.
But advocates' characterization of the rapper's choice in her pregnancy is disingenuous, and, at best, inaccurate. So how did we get here?
Cardi B revealed her pregnancy on “Saturday Night Live” on April 7, after months of speculation (she dismissed the rumors as she was just “fat"). During a radio appearance the following week, Cardi B was asked if she ever considered not having the baby.
“Kind of, sort of ... I just didn't want to deal with the whole abortion thing,” Cardi B told the hosts of the Breakfast Club radio show. When pushed on the reason, Cardi B didn't go into details.
She also pushed back on critics who said her decision to have a child at this point in her career wasn't the best one.
“It really bothers me and it disgusts me because I see a lot of women online like, ‘Oh I feel sorry for you! Now your career is over!' And it's like, why can’t I have both?” Cardi B said. “Why do I got to chose a career or a baby? Like, why can’t I have both?”
But nowhere in the interview did Cardi B say that she believes abortions should be illegal or that a woman should not have the right to choose. If anything, it sounded as if she also debated the choice.
“It was just like, ‘You know what, I’m a grown woman. I’m 25 years old. I’m say this in the most humble way — I’m a schmillionaire. You know what I’m saying? I’m prepared for this.'”
Her message that she chose to have a child when she wants isn't a “pro-life” message; it's arguably a “pro-choice” one.
Still, her perspective became fodder for antiabortion advocates.
Amanda Prestigiacomo wrote in the conservative Daily Wire, in a post headlined “Cardi B Gives Pro-Life Message While Discussing Her Choice To Reject Abortion,” that liberals may no longer view the rapper as a feminist for choosing to become a mother.
“Uh-oh! Cardi B rejects the narrative that you must to sacrifice your unborn baby to have a satisfying career. Does this mean she loses her Feminist Card? Me thinks so.”
Conservative radio show host Ben Shapiro said feminists won't like Cardi B's message.
And antiabortion activist Lila Rose tweeted her support for the rapper's decision to have a baby and to pursue her professional dreams, saying that children “are the greatest dream.”
It is possible that Cardi B is antiabortion and hasn't said it publicly. But anyone familiar with the messages she regularly articulates in her music, reality show appearances and viral social media posts knows that she advocates for women making decisions based on themselves.
MSNBC host Joy Reid said the effort of the antiabortion advocates to associate themselves with Cardi B was rooted in “thirst.”
And that is somewhat understandable, considering how unpopular the Republican Party is with one particular group that makes up a big part of Cardi B's fan base: millennials. And particularly on the issue of abortion.
The Public Religion Research Institute recently reported this week that those between the ages of 18 and 29 were more likely to report that their views on abortion had changed in recent years to increasingly favor abortion rights. Of those whose opinions had changed, one in four said they became more supportive of legalized abortion. Less than 10 percent said they had become less supportive.
In seemingly misrepresenting the politics of Cardi B, who is becoming increasingly vocal about her political views, conservative commentators ended up drawing attention to what they fail to see about abortion rights. There's likely a millennial attracting significant social media attention for her antiabortion views, but Cardi B isn't that person.