Olympian Sanya Richards-Ross Talks Candidly About Her Abortion In Her New Memoir

Sanya Richards-Ross holding her new memoir
@sanyarichiross via Instagram

For any number of reasons, women are faced with the very difficult decision of terminating a pregnancy. Sometimes it is for medical reasons while other times it might be economics. 

But for Olympic track and field star Sanya Richards-Ross, an unexpected pregnancy before the 2008 Summer Olympics meant choosing between becoming a mother or achieving her lifelong goal of winning a gold medal. She chose the latter but immediately had regrets in spite of her success.

In her new memoir Chasing Grace, Sanya discusses the hurt, anger, and resentment she experienced as a result of having an abortion. "Everything I ever wanted seemed to be within reach. The culmination of a lifetime of work was right before me," she wrote

Sanya dealt with moral and ethical concerns along with shame and what having the baby might cost her both personally and professionally. "In that moment, it seemed like no choice at all," she continued. "The debate of when life begins swirled through my head, and the veil of a child out of wedlock at the prime of my career seemed unbearable. What would my family, my church, and my fans think?"

Her decision was an agonizing one and it didn't end after a quick visit to her doctor's office, either. Sanya had to do this alone as her then-fiancé and now-husband Aaron Ross of the New York Giants was away at training camp. The couple had to find a way to work through their feelings about their loss and each other.

"I always harbored some resentment towards Ross. It was our mess-up, but I felt abandoned in the decision," she wrote in Chasing Grace. Ross was neutral during their conversation but he believed that they had missed a blessing back in 2008 because of their career ambitions and "always wanting to be in control."

Sonya says that instead of chasing gold medals and world records, the experience set her and her husband on a new path: chasing God's grace. Through prayer and some very honest communication, the couple has healed and now expecting a baby boy. Aaron Jermaine Ross, Jr. is due to be born by the end of the summer and parents could not be happier.

"Baby Ross already has so much love awaiting him--we can't wait to meet him, we are already so in love with him," they told People.

Abortion is never as easy as buying shoes or cutting your hair as many might believe. It is one that many women do not ever really get over. Know that no human being is perfect and that we all have to make seemingly impossible decisions in our lives--some good, some bad, some right, and some wrong. But if you seek forgiveness and healing, you too can make it through.

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