Toni Braxton: I Thought Son’s Autism Was God Punishing Me For Abortion

Truth rating: 10
(Getty Images)

By Daniel Gates

(Getty Images)

Toni Braxton thought that her son’s autism was God’s punishment for a past abortion, she reveals in a new memoir. In Unbreak My Heart, the R&B singer opens up about a pregnancy she terminated more than a decade ago, before she and ex-husband Keri Lewis had two children together, including 11-year-old Diezel, who’s been diagnosed as autistic.

At the time of her abortion, Braxton was taking the prescription acne medication Accutane, which is linked to potentially serious fetal health issues. Although she grew up in an extremely religious household, the performer made the choice to have end that pregnancy. Braxton writes, “I was suddenly faced with a choice I’d never thought I’d have to make. Amid my major misgivings about abortion, I eventually made the gut-wrenching decision.”

“In my heart, I believed I had taken a life — an action that I thought God might one day punish me for,” she explains. Braxton goes on to say, “My initial rage was quickly followed by another strong emotion: guilt. I knew I’d taken a life… I believed God’s payback was to give my son autism.”

She has since come to believe that Diezel’s autism is not retaliation by God, but now wonders whether vaccination is to blame. “Maybe it’s just a coincidence that after my son’s first MMR vaccine, I began to notice changes in him,” explains Braxton.

What do you think about what Braxton says?

Enter your email address here to receive daily news updates from us.


  1. Gossip Cop
  2. Mediaite
  3. RunwayRiot
  4. The Mary Sue