Simone Biles, Abortion, and Responding to False Teachers

Thomas Griffin 8/24/21

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Simone Biles continues to remain in the headlines post-Olympics after deciding to voice her opinion regarding her stance on abortion and adoption. Biles has long been known as a Catholic and even carries rosary beads in her gym bag to all her practices and events. One of her latest posts concerns the heated topic of abortion, and highlights a problem for many Catholics who decide to contradict clear Church teaching and undeniable scientific evidence. The following is a recap of her words and an attempt to use her mistake as an example for how Catholics can respond to false witnesses with humility and truth.

Biles added a headline to her Instagram story that read: “Unpopular opinions: abortion is wrong.” Underneath the headline she embarked on her campaign that promoted the right to kill unborn babies. “I already know this is going to start the biggest argument and I may even lose followers BUT…I am very much pro-choice.”

The headline stating the unpopularity of declaring that abortion is wrong is valid. In the same breath she acknowledges that her words on the topic will cause a large argument and she will lose followers. Why? Because she is well aware that she is known for her Catholic faith and that her words place her at odds with undeniable Church teaching and modern science. 

Abortion is an intrinsic evil, according to Church teaching, because the act always results in the direct murder of an innocent child. The weakest and most vulnerable were always the center of Jesus’ ministry and the Church acts as his representative to the world when she defends life at all stages. Some may argue that this is old-fashioned or even illogical, but the truth is that abortion is proven immoral by Christ and by science.

“Your body, your choice,” Biles continued. The decades-old argument neglects the science that her and so many others have idolized during the pandemic. “Follow the science” should mean that we look at the vast amount of evidence pointing to the fact that the location of a human being inside of the womb of a mother does not take away its humanity. 

The CDC even outlines the fact that by week 3 of fetal development, both the heart and the central nervous system are present. Human DNA is also present from the very moment that a fertilized egg appears. Choice does not override science. 

Chris Stefanick, president and founder of Real Life Catholic, powerfully notes that a child in the womb, “has a heartbeat at 18 days, brain waves at 42 weeks, all body systems present at 8 weeks, fingernails at 11 weeks, has vocal chords and can cry at 12 weeks, can feel pain at 20 weeks, and at 23 weeks can survive outside of the womb if not aborted.”

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Both the science backing up the humanity of the baby in the womb and the tragic evidence of women who have undergone abortions is irrefutable. The child is a human life and countless women later regretted having an abortion while many others experienced deep depression and even physical consequences such as infertility due to receiving an abortion. 

There are also so many couples who cannot have children or who wish to adopt children out of love for those who have no parents. Even for mothers who don’t wish to keep their baby, adoption is always an option. Simone, on the other hand, disagrees with this logic. She continued her post:

“Also, for everyone [who is] gonna say, ‘put it up for adoption,’ it’s not that easy. And coming from someone who was in the foster care system, trust me [the] foster care system is broken and it’s tough. Especially on the kids and young adults who age out.” 

Essentially, she is taking the position that a child in the womb is an “it” or an object that is merely a stress to be burdened. The child is better off being killed before birth rather than having to endure the admittedly deep struggle of possibly being a foster child. Better to never be born than to be born and have to suffer, she says. 

Furthermore, “adoption is expensive,” Biles declares “I’m just saying.” So, not only is a difficult life not worth living, but saving money for families who desire to adopt is more valuable than a precious human life. Forget the fact that families take on the financial burden of children knowingly, how could someone possibly opine that money is a reason to kill children?

Especially since Simone is actually the product of adoption. She lived in and out of the home with her mother as a young child because her mom struggled heavily with drug and alcohol addictions. She experienced the foster care system with her siblings between the ages of 2 and 5 years old. Biles was later adopted by her grandfather and grew up in Houston. More than anyone else, she should be grateful for the generosity of her grandparents and so many other parents who are willing to abundantly love their adopted children.

Finally, Biles writes this endnote in small font at the bottom of her post: “And don’t even come at me if you couldn’t keep a mask on or refused to wear one.” Her position on abortion is even further contradicted by her allegiance to masks (as good as they are) over the life of the human being in the womb. 

Challenges arise in the lives of individual Catholics, like Biles, who are known as and describe themselves to be Catholic but deny clear Church teachings. They know what they are at odds against, however, they hold that they must be correct. Another challenge is for practicing Catholics (those who do believe in every teaching of the Church, attend Mass every Sunday, etc.) to respond to a culture rampant with examples of Simone’s take on abortion.

Do we simply call her out as a heretic and trample her name in the proverbial mud? Or, is there another way besides rejection? Perhaps it is time to simply respond to this issue and countless others with, “No, that is not what the Catholic Church (aka Jesus Christ) teaches and here is why” (as I attempted to do above). Then we go on our way praying, worshiping, and sacrificing for others. Trying our best to move forward on the road of holiness, and evangelizing our families and communities to the greatest capacity that we can. 

When it comes to discussing such volatile topics, let truth and scientific evidence truly reign. Only then will the contradictions end and only then will we become the salt of the earth and the light that is set on a hill for all to follow so they can find Christ when they arrive there. 

Thomas Griffin teaches at a Catholic high school on Long Island and lives with his wife and son. He writes for several Catholic media outlets.

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