Daily Distraction: Listen to Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell unravel 'The Problem'
On Monday, country musician Amanda Shires released "The Problem," a new collaboration with husband Jason Isbell that finds the pair tenderly addressing the subject of abortion. (The song's release coincided with International Safe Abortion Day and all proceeds are being donated to the Alabama-based reproductive justice organization Yellowhammer Fund.)
As the song unfolds, Shires' narrator struggles to come to terms with her decision, wrestling with everything from the concept of when life begins ("Is a chrysalis a butterfly?" she asks) to how — or even if — she'll be viewed in the eyes of her lord in light of ending her pregnancy. "Do you think God still see me?" she sings.
Isbell's character serves as reassurance, offering support for whichever decision she makes. "I'm on your side," he repeats.
“The subject isn’t talked about enough,” Shires said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “When you’re trying to make a tough decision, you need a lot of support. Wherever you get that support — whether in a relationship or friends — no matter what you believe, you can believe to support somebody through something hard."
“There’s so much attached to folks thinking women treat it as a kind of birth control. People forget,” Shires continued, referencing the overlooked difficulty and weight of the decision, every ounce of which can be felt in "The Problem."
Give the song a listen below.