Olympic Gold Medalist Sanya Richards-Ross Says Her Abortion Left Her Broken
Sanya Richards-Ross has won multiple gold medals, and she has recently released her memoirs entitled Chasing Grace: What the Quarter Mile Has Taught Me About God and Life. A very compelling section in her new book talks about her abortion prior to the 2008 Olympics. The abortion she says cost her more than a gold medal.
Sanya was engaged to her now husband and football star, Aaron Ross. The pregnancy was completely unexpected. Both were beginning their professional careers, and Sanya wanted that Olympic gold. In addition, she was surrounded by other female athletes who had had abortions in order to continue their careers. According to Sanya she literally did not know another female track and field athlete who had not had an abortion, which, she said, is sad. She stated in her book:
Everything I ever wanted seemed to be within reach. The culmination of a
lifetime of work was right before me. In that moment it seemed like no
choice at all. The debate of when life begins swirled through my head, and
the veil of a child out of wedlock at the prime of my career seemed
unbearable. What would my sponsors, my family, my church, and my fans
think of me?
Sanya proceeded with the abortion and quickly flew to Beijing to prepare for the Olympics where she totally expected to win the gold. When she came in only in third place after a cramp in her hamstring, she described herself as broken physically and emotionally. She explains this in her book:
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 would 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.
As a Christian she turned to God for help and forgiveness. Although she says she is not completely healed and still cries about it, she wants her story to help other women and girls who are faced with unexpected pregnancies.