Singer’s Mother Reveals Last Minute Decision Not to Abort Her Famous Daughter

Cher has solidified a place in American entertainment history. But, as we’ve noted time and time again, she has also been a source of intense controversy, particularly during the past presidential cycle when she repeatedly took to Twitter to lash out against Republicans. Over the weekend, though, a fascinating story about the singer emerged, as it was revealed that her mother, Georgia Holt, came within minutes of aborting her famous daughter.

Actress Cher presenting ‘Moonstruck’ at Target Presents AFI’s Night at the Movies at ArcLight Cinemas on April 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. Credit: Getty Images for AFI

Here’s how described the revelation:

This past weekend during an appearance on a Lifetime show called Dear Mom, Love Cher, the famous singer’s mother confessed that she came within minutes of aborting her now-famous daughter.

Georgia Holt was 20 and recently separated from her husband when she found herself pregnant with Cher. She had moved back in with her own mother, who, when she found out that Georgia was expecting, gave her daughter an ultimatum: reunite with her husband or get an abortion.

Holt at first opted for the abortion, to the point that she even went to the clinic for the scheduled abortion.

It was 1946, a time during which abortion was illegal and Roe vs. Wade was still a cultural enigma way off in the distant future. In her interview about the experience, Holt, 86, recalled details of the abortion clinic’s aesthetics and the last-minute emotions that caused her to change her mind.

“I can remember the chairs were chrome [in the clinic], and I was sweating,” she said. “The sweat was just coming off of me on this chrome and when the door opened and it was my turn, I said, ‘Mother, I can’t do it.’ So, that’s how she’s here.”

Watch her describe the experience, below:

In an interview with USA Today, Cher provided other details about her mother’s life. In addition to going through six marriages, Holt also sought fame out as a singer and actress. After marrying John Sarkisian, Cher’s father, the outlet reports that the singer’s mother considered the aforementioned abortion. Holt and Sarkisian divorced after Cher’s birth. At one point, the mother, clearly struggling, placed the singer in a Catholic orphanage — an act that was short-lived, despite the faith leaders’ push for Holt to give her daughter up for adoption.

“The orphanage story has been a touchy one for my mom her whole life, and she didn’t want to talk about it,” Cher told USA Today. “I said, ‘Mom, why didn’t you just march in and take me?’ She said, ‘I didn’t have the power. I didn’t have any money or a job, and the church was so strong. I’d go see you every day and you’d be crying. You don’t know what it was like.’ It was harder for women then.”

Read more about Cher’s shocking family story here.