Athletics: Abortion still haunts track star

NZ Herald 29 October 2017
Family First Comment: Another powerful article in the NZ Herald on abortion!
“The procedure itself is described in her book fleetingly, but unflinchingly. “All of the crying left me so numb that I barely remember the cold instruments as they brushed against my skin,” she writes. “It was quick, but it felt like an eternity. Abortion would now forever be a part of my life, a scarlet letter I never thought I’d wear.” Nine years on, she remembers, all too vividly. “I was just mentally broken,” she says. “At that point, it was more of a spiritual race than a physical one. It was incredibly hard for me, as I know it is for a lot of women. You feel this unworthiness, this shame.” Her eyes glisten momentarily. “It still gets me, even now.””

In the affluent oasis of Round Rock, Texas, 32km north of downtown Austin, Sanya Richards-Ross wakes to an autumnal morning seemingly without a care in the world.

The sky is a deep and rejuvenating blue. Her husband, Aaron Ross, a former cornerback for the New York Giants, is happily retired with two Super Bowl triumphs.

Their two-month-old son, Aaron II – they call him Dewcey – has just had a nursery built and is starting to show off his first smile.

Until recently, Richards-Ross was known primarily as the 400m champion at the 2012 London Olympics, an elegant and graceful athlete whose personal best has not been beaten by any woman in the world for 12 years.

But courtesy of her memoir, and one incendiary chapter in particular, she has become identified as a trailblazer of a quite different kind, having disclosed that at the zenith of her running career, she had an abortion.

In this age of compulsive social-media use, few intimate revelations have the capacity to shock any longer.

But Richards-Ross’ story is one that has resonated far and wide. Abortion is a taboo so entrenched that when she discovered she was pregnant just weeks before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she and her partner had a telephone call where neither of them could bear to utter the word out loud.


Similar Posts