The following is an installment in a weekly series of commentary articles by Cameron Arcand, founder of the conservative commentary website Young Not Stupid and a contributor to The Western Journal.
Britney Spears is no stranger to media attention, whether it’s hits songs that millennials love or her eyebrow-raising shaved head becoming a cultural marker of the 2000s.
But the pop singer’s latest moment in the headlines is regarding her deeply serious endeavor to end her conservatorship.
A judge in 2008 ordered that Spear’s father would be in control of the artist’s personal and financial decisions (a $60 million estate) as a result of mental health setbacks at the time, according to NPR.
The #FreeBritney movement remained a niche topic until a February 2021 documentary titled “Framing Britney Spears” about her seemingly hellish living situation popularized the cause.
Spears testified to California court on Wednesday about how she is perfectly capable of making her own choices.
“I’m not lying. I just want my life back. And it’s been 13 years. And it’s enough. It’s been a long time since I’ve owned my money. And it’s my wish and my dream for all of this to end without being tested,” she said.
“Again, it makes no sense whatsoever for the state of California to sit back and literally watch me with their own two eyes, make a living for so many people, and pay so many people, trucks and buses on the road with me and be told, I’m not good enough.”
In her testimony, she alleges that her father and her management team forced her to perform on a 2018 tour, put her into an abusive rehab clinic and is even not allowed to get her IUD removed so she can have more children.
Conservatorships are typically intended for the elderly who have exhibited severe cognitive decline or for those with developmental disabilities.
Regardless of the reason, the conservator has a legal responsibility to ethically care for the person in question.
Even if only half of the singer’s claims are accurate, although the detail expressed in her testimony is persuasive, there would be a significant cause for concern.
Someone who is clearly able to lead performances and maintain a public presence would not need their life to be at the mercy of someone else, especially if their seemingly debilitating mental health struggles are no longer as prominent after 13 years.
The plight has caught the attention of both Republican and Democratic lawmakers, likely seeing this as an opportunity to show that they are in tune with pop culture.
“#FreeBritney,” Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted Thursday.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) June 24, 2021
Democratic California Rep. Barbara Lee took the opportunity to discuss her view on bodily autonomy, particularly referencing the singer’s IUD.
“Reproductive coercion is wrong — period. Everyone should have the freedom to make choices over their own bodies and reproductive care,” Lee tweeted.
Reproductive coercion is wrong – period.
Everyone should have the freedom to make choices over their own bodies and reproductive care. https://t.co/RCvUmsuaqP
— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) June 24, 2021
Conservatorships are not meant for people like Spears’ — plain and simple.
As a fundamental American principle, personal liberty must be protected at all costs, and that includes making revisions to arrangements like conservatorships when necessary.
The court needs to end Spears’ conservatorship immediately, as it is long overdue.
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