Michael Sweet of openly Christian rockers STRYPER says that he doesn't care if he loses social media followers over his comments on abortion rights, explaining that "it's not about following me, it's about following Christ."
On Thursday (December 2),Sweet, who has fronted STRYPER for nearly four decades, shared a video of protesters allegedly taking abortion pills (mifepristone) near the U.S. Supreme Court building to protest to a court challenge that could reverse Roe vs. Wade. None of the protesters were pregnant, said Amelia Bonow, co-founder of the abortion rights group Shout Your Abortion, who orchestrated the demonstration. In an accompanying message, Michael wrote: "When women are shamelessly and proudly taking 'abortion pills' on video with smiles on their faces, isn't that a whole new level of evil? How and why is this acceptable in our world? Are we really this far gone? Celebrating the death of the unborn!!"
Sweet's comments were predictably met with a large amount of disdain from pro-choice advocates who have condemned a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks. But the 58-year-old guitarist/vocalist has refused to back down, returning to his social media earlier today to share a follow-up post in which he explained his stance in greater detail.
He wrote: "Yesterday I posted a video showing 3 women taking 'abortion pills' and the flood gates opened. As they should. It's about as serious a topic as there ever could be.
"First, I'm pro-life. If you didn't know that by now then I truly have no words to explain that. Second, as much as I take issue with pro-choice - my anger came from seeing the joy and the smiles on the faces of the 3 women taking the pill. Without going into details, I know women who have had abortions and it was the most traumatizing event that took place in their lives. Still is. There was no joy, there were no smiles. Only pain. That's the issue I had with that disgusting video. They were taking the pills (whether they were real pills or not) with a smile, as if it were a party and a fun thing to do. With little kids watching and soaking it it all in. Everyone should take issue with the presentation. I know the issues at hand will have many different opinions but the way that was presented should rub everyone the wrong way. Tasteless and classless.
"I will NEVER stand by and be silent when I see something so disturbing and yes - EVIL!" he added.
"To those who turned it around and use the 'my body, my choice' cliche - do you really think that this behavior is okay? If so, then we're in worse shape than I thought.
"Anyway, I have absolutely no regrets for my post and I wouldn't change a thing. I may lose some followers but that's okay. It's not about following me, it's about following Christ".
The conservative-leaning Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Wednesday as the justices consider Mississippi's request to overturn Roe v. Wade — the court's 1973 decision that legalized abortion in the United States — and uphold a state law that bars the procedure 15 weeks after conception.
According to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll, more than twice as many Americans (55 percent) say they want the court to reaffirm Roe v. Wade as say they want it overturned (24 percent).
Critics have said that tossing out the landmark rulings establishing abortion rights would tarnish the court's reputation and open the floodgates to other challenges to well-settled law.
Sweet previously touched upon his views on abortion in a 2020 interview with Slabber.net. While discussing how he decides which presidential candidate he gets behind, he said: "It's not anything new for people to hear from a Christian that they support pro-life. We want to see children that are unborn, live. The other side of that argument, for example, if the woman is raped and she loses her right to have an abortion, that's a terrible thing as well, and I agree with that. You would think in this case a woman should have the choice to keep that baby or not keep that baby. It's a tough argument. There are pros and cons to both sides of this argument. For me, as a believer, as a Christian, the pro-life pros outweigh the cons. Therefore, I'm a guy who typically gets behind whoever is the candidate that is pro-life as well."