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Culture

Olympic Runner Reveals the Pain of Her Abortion

Most mainstream magazines take pains to elevate a pro-choice perspective when it comes to abortion, which is why I was surprised to see PEOPLE Magazine feature the story of Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross. 

In her new book, Chasing Grace: What the Quarter Mile Has Taught Me About God and Life, Richards-Ross reveals that she had an abortion when she found herself unexpectedly pregnant just before the 2008 Olympics. Of course those who are pro-choice believe that life is an option, but generally shy away from portraying the pain and regret that often descends on women who choose abortion. 

 

This #nikeGal bumping around on my #BookTour. #ChasingGrace #RunWithMe

A post shared by Sanya Richards-Ross (@sanyarichiross) on Jun 3, 2017 at 12:25pm PDT

As Richards-Ross writes: 

“I made a decision that broke me, and one from which I would not immediately heal. Abortion would now forever be a part of my life. A scarlet letter I never thought I’d wear. I was a champion— and not just an ordinary one, but a world-class, record-breaking champion. From the heights of that reality I fell into a depth of despair.”

She says she chose to share this part of her story because it’s also where she “felt God’s grace the most” and that this may be something many female athletes deal with in their own lives. Nine years later, Richards-Ross is pregnant again and taking her message of grace and healing to the nation in her book. 

It takes a lot of courage to speak openly about an experience so personal, and I’m glad to see PEOPLE — and hopefully other publications — are amplifying her story.

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