Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles is receiving criticism from pro-lifers and conservatives after expressing support for the right to choose abortion on social media.
Biles, a gymnast who secured four gold medals for Team USA when competing in the 2016 Olympic Games and won silver and bronze medals in the 2020 Tokyo Games, took to Instagram Monday to voice her opinion on the hot button political issue.
Biles put out a request on Instagram to solicit "unpopular opinions" from her followers. One of the responses she received stated: "abortion is wrong."
Biles, 24, responded: "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," she added, reciting a famous slogan of the pro-choice movement.
The Texas native who was in the foster system as a child also delivered a message to those inclined to respond to her argument by saying, “just put it up for adoption.”
"Also for everyone gonna say 'just put it up for adoption' it's not that easy & coming from someone who was in the foster care system," she added, according to USA Today. "TRUST me foster care system is broken & it's TOUGH especially on the kids & young adults who age out & adoption is expensive ... im just saying.
In addition to characterizing adoption as “expensive,” Biles told her followers, “don’t even come at me if you couldn’t keep a mask on or refused to wear one.”
On Tuesday, she responded to her critics directly on Twitter.
“DO NOT misconstrue my words,” she said in response to one Twitter user. “I did NOT say I support to abort rather than to put them through the foster care system.”
“What I did imply is that you should not control someone else body/decision," she said.
She also shared another talking point commonly asserted by many within the pro-abortion lobby: “Let’s be real what you care about is control.”
Pro-life activist Lila Rose, founder and president of the advocacy group Live Action, was one of many prominent pro-lifers to address Biles’ commentary on Twitter.
Rose described her analysis as “incredibly sad and awful.” She tied Biles’ comments to the “modern mindset,” which she slammed as “broken & cruel.”
According to Rose, the most common refrains of the “modern mindset” include “My life can overcome great odds but others’ can’t,” “born people deserve to live but not little unborn people” and “foster care and adoption can both be broken so let’s support killing off would be adoptees before birth.”
In a separate tweet, Rose called on the Olympian to “fight for foster care kids" and "make life better for them."
"[D]on’t wish for their mothers to end their lives before they’ve even had a chance to live," Rose demanded.
Many on social media support Biles' comments, including the pro-abortion advocacy group Catholics for Choice.
"This is @Simone_Biles. Simone is a pro-choice Catholic," the group tweeted. "Simone is the #GOAT. Be like Simone."
Obianuju Ekeocha, the founder of Culture of Life Africa, wrote on Twitter that it is "heartbreaking when people widely celebrated by Christians as admirable role models, come out in support of abortion."
"So many Catholics celebrated Simone Biles, who went through foster care system," she wrote. "Today she described herself as 'pro-choice'. Very sad & unfortunate."
The Catholic Church has historically opposed abortion.
Conservative blogger Matt Walsh didn't mince words in denouncing Biles as “pro-baby murder,” contending that “she survived the foster care system and went on to thrive, but she’d rather the other kids be killed than given that chance.”
He labeled her point of view “absolutely vile."
“In defending abortion you said that the foster care system is ‘tough’ and adoption is ‘expensive.’ This is clearly meant to imply that aborting is better than putting a child up for adoption,” he argued.
Walsh also rejected the implication that foster care and adoption are less desirable alternatives to abortion.
“There are two million couples waiting to adopt right now, most of them hoping to adopt a baby," he wrote. "It can be hard to place older kids if they end up in the system, but it is not at all difficult for infants to find a family.”
Biles vowed to “continue to support foster kids.”
As The Christian Post previously reported, Biles partnered with Mattress Firm Foster Kids, a program that works with 115 nonprofit organizations across 40 states to provide more than 600,000 necessities to foster children.
In the past, Biles has opened up about her Catholic faith, discussing how she usually goes to church and lights a candle for St. Sebastian, the patron saint of athletes, before competing in major athletic events.
In an interview with The Houston Chronicle, she noted that “kids today talk about faith, and I think it’s OK for me to share my faith so kids can see how it helps you through the whole process.”
A description of Biles’ memoir, Courage to Soar, details how “through years of hard work and determination, she has relied on her faith and family to stay focused and positive.”
In the 2020 Tokyo Games, which concluded Sunday, Biles pulled out of some competitions to “focus on her mental health.”
While Biles’ decision opened up her to some criticism, she also received much support. One message of support came from singer Justin Bieber, who shared a Bible verse with the decorated athlete, asking, “what does it mean to gain the whole world but forfeit your soul.”
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org