Texas-born musicians Jim Seals and Dash Crofts of the popular group Seals and Crofts were at the height of popularity in the early 1970s. With such now iconic hits as “Summer Breeze” and “Diamond Girl,” the duo seemed to be gearing up for many more years of success.
All that changed in 1974 with the release of their album “Unborn Child.” The title track is a haunting song for a preborn baby whose mother is considering abortion. The song was developed from a poem written by Lana Day Bogan, the wife of one of the recording engineers for Seals and Crofts. Bogan wrote the poem after watching a documentary on abortion and asked Seals to write a song for the poem.
The song begins,
Oh little baby, you’ll never cry, nor will you hear a sweet lullabye.
Oh unborn child, if you only knew just what your momma was plannin’ to do.
You’re still a-clingin’ to the tree of life, but soon you’ll be cut off before you get ripe.
Oh unborn child, beginning to grow inside your momma, but you’ll never know.
Oh tiny bud, that grows in the womb, only to be crushed before you can bloom.
Mama stop! Turn around, go back, think it over.
Now stop, turn around, go back, think it over.
Stop, turn around, go back think it over.
The simple and evocative message of the song is that the preborn baby is fully human and deserving of Life. This message was controversial and polarizing as just one year previous, in 1973, the Supreme Court legalized abortion in all 50 states in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
In this political environment, an overtly Pro-Life song was seen as career-damaging. Writing for CNS News, John Stonestreet explains:
To put it mildly, this is not what their label, Warner Records, had in mind. After all, this was less than a year since Roe had been handed down, and abortion was, if nothing else, controversial. Add in the duo’s unapologetic and urgent plea for women contemplating abortion to “stop, think it over …” and it’s no surprise their record label had some concerns.
In response to this warning, Seals and Crofts stood their ground. In a 1993 interview, Crofts explains that Warner Brothers wanted them not to release the album: “They said, ‘This is a highly controversial subject, we advise that you don’t do this.’ And we said, ‘But you’re in the business to make money; we’re doing it to save lives. We don’t care about the money.’”
The record label’s warning proved warranted. After the release of the album, radio stations boycotted the title track and abortion activists protested Seals and Crofts concerts. The duo went on to release other albums and other popular songs, but their celebrity was never again what they had enjoyed previously.
The experience of Seals and Crofts shows the extreme bias in favor of abortion in the music and entertainment industry that was only just taking root in the years immediately following the legalization of abortion. Now the entertainment industry’s ties to the powerful abortion lobby are even stronger. Additionally, not only are celebrities discouraged from promoting a Pro-Life message, but pregnant mothers in the entertainment industry are often pressured to abort their babies to advance their careers. Some courageous people within the industry are speaking out about this abortion bias, but the infiltration of abortion lobby groups like Planned Parenthood into media giants is far-reaching.
As for Seals and Crofts, they had no regrets about their decision to put celebrity on the line to be a voice for the most vulnerable. Crofts said, “I think we got more good results out of it than bad because a lot of people called us and said, ‘We’re naming our children after you, because you helped us decide to save their lives with that song.’ That was very fulfilling to us.”
As our nation marks the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we mourn more than 60 million preborn babies killed by the violence of legal, elective abortion. We are also marking the 45th anniversary of a courageous moment in pop music history when two Texas singers used their spotlight to stand in defense of innocent human Life. Despite the ongoing tragedy of abortion, we have reason to hope that one day all human beings will have the Right to Life in our nation.