CELEBRITY

Toni Braxton Once Believed God Gave Her Son Autism Because Of Her Past Abortion

05/24/2014 11:06 am ET | Updated May 24, 2014
Dave Kotinsky via Getty Images

In her new memoir, aptly titled "Unbreak My Heart," singer Toni Braxton opens up about a painful memory from her past.

The 46-year-old Grammy winner wrote about an abortion she had in 2001 and how she once believed God had later punished her for it. "I was suddenly faced with a choice I'd never thought I'd have to make," Braxton wrote of the procedure. "Amid my major misgivings about abortion, I eventually made the gut-wrenching decision."

Due to her very religious upbringing -- in the memoir the singer says that studying the Bible took precedence over homework when growing up -- Braxton began to feel a strong sense of guilt over the abortion. "In my heart, I believed I had taken a life -- an action that I thought God might one day punish me for … My initial rage was quickly followed by another strong emotion: guilt," she wrote. Braxton's guilt was so heavy that she began to believe that God's punished her for the procedure by giving her son, Diezel Ky Braxton-Lewis, now 11-years-old, autism. "I believed God's payback was to give my son autism," she wrote.

However, the R&B music icon told Us Weekly that she now feels differently about her past. "When my youngest son was diagnosed with autism I feared that I was being punished for my earlier actions. I have since realized that my son is special and learns in a different way.”

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