What the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life Miss About Simone Biles

As Simone Biles was clinching yet another gold medal in Rio, people on both sides of the abortion debate were pointing to her achievements and background as a justification for their position.

But both miss out on a very important fact: Simone Biles has value not because she is a young woman inspiring the world or because she is a world champion gymnast who was adopted as a child. Simone has value simply because she is Simone.

Feminist icon?

As with virtually every other public organization, Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the U.S., tried to tie themselves with successful Olympic athletes.

That tweet linked to a story focused on female American athletes who looked to capture medals and attention at the Rio 2016 games, including Biles and her women’s gymnastic teammates.

But the unfortunate reality is that the situation of Simone Biles’ birth mother is exactly the type that causes many women to go to Planned Parenthood and seek an abortion.

From a Texas Monthly profile on her:

Biles was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1997 to drug-addicted parents who struggled to care for their children. Biles and her three siblings were shuffled back and forth between their mother’s house and a foster home. (Biles’s father had abandoned her mother and was never present in his daughter’s life.) When I asked her what memories she has from those days, Biles recalled that one of the foster homes had a trampoline that she and her siblings weren’t allowed to play on.

While Planned Parenthood may celebrate her as a role model for American women now, it is undeniable that had her biological mother walked into a clinic pregnant with Simone the workers would have advised her to abort the baby.

It is not fair to say, as some pro-life individuals did, “if Planned Parenthood had their way Simone Biles would have never made it to Rio.”

While the abortion provider has a clear profit motivation to encourage women entering their clinics to pursue abortion (and their founder has a troubling history concerning race), Planned Parenthood is not patrolling the streets rounding up pregnant women who they can force into abortions.

No amounts of tweets or praise can change the fact, however, that the young woman Americans have fallen in love with on their television screens would not be here if her mother had chosen abortion.

That’s the thought abortion supporters never want to ponder … What if? Because if we allow the human life to continue to grow inside the womb, that life will develop and become someone we cannot so easily dismiss.

What if we didn’t chose abortion? Who would that baby have become?

I have no idea what Simone Biles personal opinions on abortion are, but I feel certain that she is thankful to be alive. Most people are, even if they aren’t winning gold medals in the Olympics.

In fact, when someone says they wish they had never been born, we believe that person is someone who needs help and should be reminded they have worth.

But the whole conception of abortion centers on the fact that those of us who are allowed to enjoy life have the right to decide another human life will not be worth living. How arrogant is that?

Your parents are in a difficult place right now and your life would probably be difficult, so we think it would be best if you were never born. And no, you don’t get a say in it.

But, perhaps surprisingly, I saw many pro-life individuals make an argument that devalues Simone Biles almost as much.

Adoption avatar?

As the nation (and the world) began discussing the awe-inspiring greatness of Simone Biles, pro-life groups and individuals began to share memes like this on social media.

Simone Biles pro-life meme

I understand the argument, but I think there is a subtle, but significant point we need to make clear.

Simone Biles doesn’t have worth because she is “the best gymnast in the world.” She doesn’t have value because she won gold medals. She has worth and value simply because she is a human being created in God’s image.

While I’m sure the vast majority of people who shared that meme would agree with that point, we should be careful in how we make the pro-life case.

What if at the bottom of the meme it instead said “would later become an excellent high school student in Ohio”? What if it even said “would later become a drug addict”? Would she still have value and worth? Absolutely.

She would have just as much intrinsic value and worth if she was a normal teenage girl. If you had never heard the name “Simone Biles,” her Creator and Father would still know her name and love her.

There is danger for pro-lifers in attempting to capitalize on someone who came from a difficult birth situation and achieved greatness. We can make it seem as if the important part is their achieving greatness and not simply the fact that they are someone.

Simone Biles should celebrate her achievements and we should enjoy seeing her do amazing gymnastic feats. But she has value far apart from that—even if we forget it sometimes.

14 Comments

  1. Ellen

    Great insight. Thanks.

  2. anonymous

    Thank you for the post. I grew up in an abusive home and my parents were addicted to drugs. I was in and out of foster care until I was eighteen. Thank you for the reminder that we all have value. I needed tp hear that today.

    • I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through, but yes, absolutely you have value and worth. Your past does not define you. Just because you are you and created in God’s image, you are loved and valued.

      • anonymous

        I have been reading more of your blog posts. Could you tell me what it means to be a Christian?

        • Cheryl

          Being a Christian means recognizing that we are weak and sinful. The God who created us has also told us how He created us to live, and we have chosen to do our own thing instead so many times; that is called sin. But God sent His Son, the one called Jesus, to earth for us. Jesus is the only One who has perfectly kept God’s law. He was killed on a cross, and three days later He returned to life (was resurrected), which shows us that God accepted His death as a payment for sin. But not for His own sin–He didn’t commit any. He died as a payment for our sin, yours and mine.

          Read the book of John in the New Testament (the Bible) to see more. Then you can go back and see how it all began, in Genesis.

  3. This speaks to the issue that I couldn’t put my finger on. As pro-lifers, we often become just like our opposition. Being so opposed to the scourge of abortion that we’re willing to do or say anything to end it. Some balance needs to be taken on all fronts as we are extremely vulnerable to idolatry on EVERY level.

    Also, I’ve seen why I’ve been opposed to the accolades that I sometimes receive as I speak and share my story of being an “abortion survivor”. I don’t deserve to be rewarded for something that I didn’t earn. I didn’t survive an abortion through my own actions, but through the grace of God. I understand that the voice from which I can speak that no pro-abortion advocate can silence; but I’m becoming more aware of the danger of being lauded because of accomplishments that had nothing to do with me.

    Would I be pro-life if I weren’t a survivor? I hope so. Would I be highly paid for sharing a “typical” life story? I doubt it. Is my life more valuable than someone who has no sensational accomplishment? Absolutely not.

    • I don’t think we necessarily have to abandon all noteworthy stories. Yours definitely seems to be one. We simply must make sure in the way we talk that we do not communicate a person’s worth is tied up in anything more than the intrinsic worth they have as a person created in the image of God.

      Simone has worth simply by being a human, not because she is an amazing athlete. That’s simply a platform she has recently gained to speak from the worth she has always possessed. You are absolutely the same way. Our worth never changes, only other’s recognition of it. Those of us who are pro-life should never contribute to someone thinking their worth is wrapped up in what they do or have done.

  4. Brent

    Why is it unfair to PP to say that if they had their way, Simone would never have made it to Rio. What, in how they conduct their business, would suggest otherwise?

    • Because as I said, no one at PP is actively trying to round up women and give them abortions. Unless there is evidence Simone’s mother went to a PP clinic and they recommended she have an abortion, we cannot accurately say if they had their way she would not have made it to Rio. We need to be fair in our criticism of others.

  5. Marla

    Planned parenthood does not “encourage” the women coming to them to have an abortion. They explain exactly the procedure and provide it with neither encouragement or discouragement. There it’s no sneaky “conducting of business” as you put it. It is the person’s choice.

  6. “Planned Parenthood is not patrolling the streets rounding up pregnant women who they can force into abortions.” Notwithstanding the evidence in other totalitarian regimes, the author appears not to recognize that once we have government controlled medicine, and health care providers are forced to participate in killing patients, then women will be forced to abort. Very likely, Planned Parenthood could become the arm of the government to accomplish this, as well as infanticides of “unsuitable” offspring. (They are so cozy with Barack and Hillary.)
    I haven’t heard or seen a single pro-lifer imply that Ms. Biles’ intrinsic worth was tied to her achievement. Her story is obviously being used as evidence that prenatal prognostications are invalid as justification for aborting. Doing this doesn’t diminish the fact of her or anyone’s intrinsic worth. It just adds hope for people who are facing dire conditions during pregnancy.

    Don’t fund the circular firing squad, prolifers!!

About Author

Aaron Earls

Christian. Husband. Daddy. Writer. Online editor for Facts & Trends Magazine. Fan of quick wits, magical wardrobes, brave hobbits, time traveling police boxes & Blue Devils.