Since she was a little girl, Richards-Ross’ dream was to win a gold medal in the Olympics. So when she found out she was pregnant with her now-husband’s child right before leaving for the 2008 World Olympics in Beijing, she described the situation as “impossible.”
“Because I knew I was with my forever—I was with my soon to-be-husband, and I knew I wanted to have a family with him. But I also wanted to be an Olympic champion more than anything. The day before I left for Beijing, I had an abortion,” Richards-Ross said. “And as a woman who also identifies as a Christian woman, who tries to be Christ-like, I never ever thought that I would be in that situation. It was, it still is, really hard for me to talk about it. But I am grateful, however, that I had the choice.”
The Olympian believes that she didn’t win the 400-meter race that year as punishment for her abortion.
“When I lined up, I didn’t feel deserving, because I had just done the one thing I thought I’d never do. I feel like good things come from God and I didn’t deserve that,” she told Acho. Richard-Ross said she wouldn’t wish the pain of what she felt that day on her worst enemy.
Richards-Ross nevertheless said that she believes choosing to get an abortion saved her life in a figurative sense, saying, “I don’t know what my life would have been like had I given up this dream that I had my whole life. I don’t know if I would have been all of who I am today.”
Dr. Abraham shared that after experiencing difficulty conceiving a child, she eventually got pregnant only to discover during of her scans that the pregnancy was ectopic. Her doctor told her that she needed surgery or a “medically sound abortion.”
Because Abraham lived in Texas where abortion is illegal after 6 weeks of pregnancy, the doctor explained that she didn’t think she could perform the life-saving medical abortion without fear of being reported.
A couple of weeks later, Abraham was eventually able to undergo the procedure.
“I think sometimes people underestimate, they think that ‘Oh there’s these silly girls making these flippant decisions,’ when sometimes, we are educated, grown women who are making difficult decisions to save our lives,” Abraham said.
Acho asked Abraham if she feels women’s lives will be jeopardized by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe, to which she replied, “100 percent. And, Emmanuel, it’s already happening. So I see that a lot of women are delaying these life-saving surgeries just out of fear.”
Acosta-Ruiz told Acho that she believes the ruling is an attack on women, specifically minorities and those who live in poor communities, because they don’t have the means to receive treatment at an abortion clinic. She also believes the Supreme Court’s decision will negatively impact reproductive education.