Washington D.C., Aug 10, 2021 / 11:00 am (CNA).
Olympic gymnast and Catholic Simone Biles sparked a stir on Monday, Aug. 10, when she announced on her Instagram stories that she is “very much pro-choice.”
Biles, 24, asked her Instagram followers to submit their “unpopular opinions,” which she would then comment on. One of her fans made the submission “abortion is wrong.”
The gymnast – who won bronze and silver medals in the recent Olympic competitions in Tokyo – replied, “I already know this is going to start the biggest argument & may even lose followers BUT I’m very much pro-choice.”
“Your body, your choice,” said Biles.
Biles added that she thinks the “foster care system is broken.” She and her siblings were placed in foster care throughout her childhood, and she and her younger sister Adria were adopted by her biological grandfather and his wife in 2003. Biles’ two elder siblings were adopted by another relative.
“It’s not that easy & coming from someone who was in the foster care system TRUST me,” she said. “Foster care system is broken & it’s TOUGH. Especially on the kids & young adults who age out.”
She further noted that “adoption is expensive.”
Later, on Twitter, Biles said that in no way did she 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 on Tuesday morning. “Let’s be real, what you care about is control.”
She continued saying that she has “forever & will continue to support foster kids,” as she was one. In 2016, Biles partnered with Mattress Firm to raise awareness of its new initiative for foster children, the Mattress Firm Foster Kids program.
“I’ve been an advocate for foster kids and the system but you wouldn’t know that because you don’t follow me, you just like to open your mouth,” said Biles, responding to a since-deleted tweet saying that she thought foster children’s “lives are worth nothing” and that they are “better off dead.”
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,” said Rose.
“Our modern mindset is so broken and cruel,” added Rose. “Foster care and adoption can be broken, so let’s support killing off would-be adoptees before birth.”
Since winning four gold medals and a bronze at the Rio Olympics in 2016, Biles publicly identified herself as a survivor of sexual abuse at the hands of former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.
Since then, she has worked to change the structures of USA Gymnastics in order to create a safer and healthier training environment for other gymnasts. She also advocated for other survivors of sexual abuse. At the 2018 U.S. National Championships, Biles competed in a teal leotard – the color of sexual abuse awareness.
She is the last known Nassar survivor who is still actively competing in gymnastics. Biles told Hoda Kotb of NBC’s Today in April that she felt “called by God” to continue gymnastics, even when she wanted to quit following the pandemic-related delay of the 2020 Olympics.
Biles won a silver and bronze medal in Tokyo after battling mental health issues and “the twisties,” a loss of muscle memory that sidelined her from four events.