This Olympic sprinter had an abortion two weeks before winning a gold medal
No matter who you are, abortion is a touchy subject. Even if women have had them, most don’t make a habit of talking about them in public, especially if they’re famous in any way.
But in her memoir “Chasing Grace,” track and field athlete Sanya Richards-Ross reveals she had an abortion two weeks before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where she won a gold medal in the 400m sprint.
Recently in an interview with Sports Illustrated Now, Sanya revealed her story isn’t all that unique for track and field athletes.
Well, the gold medal part is, but not the abortion part.
Rarely is a woman’s decision to get an abortion ever easy, but back in 2008, Sanya had a very strong reason why she needed to get one.
Even though she was engaged to be married, the timing was off. Athletes train their entire careers for a shot at Olympic gold and she didn’t want to give up “the culmination of a lifetime of work.”
But speaking with Sports Illustrated Now, Sanya revealed that even though female athletes don’t talk about it often, “I literally don’t know another female track and field athlete who hasn’t had an abortion.”
She explains that part of the reason why so many female athletes get abortions is because they don’t want go to on birth control because they’re afraid of gaining weight.
“As an athlete, you want to stay as fit and healthy as possible,” Sanya explained. “And then people tell you, ‘when you’re extremely fit you can’t get pregnant because our cycles are shorter.’ So there’s a lot of miseducation that happens to young women in college because we’re educating ourselves.”
If this isn’t a public service announcement for the importance of honest sex education, we don’t know what is.
[H/T The Cut]