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Olympic gymnast Simone Biles reveals her attitude toward abortion

SIMONE BILES

Grigory Sysoev | Sputnik | AFP

John Burger - published on 08/11/21 - updated on 08/11/21

Pro-life activists regret young champion's remarks on Instagram.

Simone Biles, the Olympics gymnast who has been described in Catholic media as a “devout Catholic,” has revealed that she is “pro-choice.”

Biles responded to a person commenting on her Instagram account Tuesday: “I already know this is going to start the biggest argument & may even lose followers BUT I’m very much pro-choice.” 

The 24-year-old Biles, who won plaudits for her decision to remove herself temporarily from the U.S. gymnastics competition in the Tokyo Olympics for mental health reasons, repeated the slogan, “Your body, your choice.”

Biles has overcome adversity in her life, including, apparently, a tough time growing up in the foster care system and, later, abuse at the hands of former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. 

At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, she won individual gold medals in the all-around, vault, and floor; bronze on balance beam; and gold as part of the United States team. In Tokyo this summer, she won bronze on balance beam, as well as silver with the United States team, after struggling with “the twisties,” a temporary loss of air balance awareness.

In her Instagram post, she anticipated people who would argue that adoption is a better choice than abortion. “It’s not that easy,” she said, noting that it can be expensive.

“Coming from someone who was in the foster care system, trust me, [the] foster care system is broken & it’s tough, especially on the kids and young adults who age out,” she states. 

Biles was born on March 14, 1997, in Columbus, Ohio, the third of four siblings. Her birth mother, Shanon Biles, was unable to care for Simone or her other children — Adria, Ashley, and Tevin. All four went in and out of foster care.

In 2000, Biles’ maternal grandfather, Ron Biles, and his second wife, Nellie Cayetano Biles, began temporarily caring for Shanon’s children in the north Houston suburb of Spring, Texas, after learning that his grandchildren had been in foster care. In 2003, the couple officially adopted Simone and her younger sister Adria. Ron’s sister, Shanon’s aunt Harriet, adopted the two oldest children.

Her stating publicly that she supports legal abortion is reminiscent of Amanda Gorman, also a Catholic who was hailed for the reading of her poetry at President Joe Biden’s inauguration in January. Gorman also is pro-choice, it later emerged.

Later on Tuesday, Biles clarified on Twitter that she does not favor aborting babies as an alternative to the foster care system. “What I did imply is that you should not control someone else’s body/decision,” she said. “Let’s be real, what you care about is control.”

According to Catholic News Agency, pro-life leader Lila Rose called Biles’ views on abortion “incredibly sad and awful.” 

“To have overcome a broken system as triumphantly as she has — yet wish death for other kids because they may face foster care — is beyond fathoming,” Rose said. 

The pro-life leader, who came into the spotlight in a series of undercover videos exposing shady practices at Planned Parenthood, called the modern mindset “so broken and cruel,” which would take the attitude, “Foster care and adoption can be broken, so let’s support killing off would-be adoptees before birth.”

Another American pro-life leader, Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, tweeted on Tuesday that he would pray for Biles. 

“She is an amazing Gymnast and a role model to millions. I will pray that she sees that Abortion is the killing on Innocent unborn living babies,” Pavone said.

Tags:
Abortion

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