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“Free Speech”: Formula 1 superstar “Checo” Pérez defended after liking pro-life Instagram post

31-year-old Pérez, nicknamed “Checo,” a Formula 1 racing driver for Red Bull Racing, boasts 2.4 million followers on Instagram. Despite his popularity on the social media platform, the F1 superstar recently found himself facing criticism for ‘liking’ a pro-life post from a fellow Instagram user.

‘Checo’ liked the above post. “Abortion is the easy way out, but it is not a solution,” the post read

 

 

The 31-year-old who is a devout Catholic, drives in Formula 1 for Red Bull Racing. Red Bull confirmed at the end of August that the Mexican, who has previously driven for McLaren, Sauber and Force India, has been retained in the line-up of its much-coveted 2022 racing team.

Pérez has made an undoubtedly strong start to his first season with the top team, first scoring a front row slot in his second Grand Prix, then claiming four top-five finishes in his first five races, and securing his first win for the team in his sixth in Baku.

Pérez is not only recognised for his racing ability, but is also known for being transparent about his Catholic faith and values. Whilst many drivers in the glitzy yet perilous world of F1 carry secular good luck charms in thirsty pursuit of success, Pérez openly clings to his Catholic faith.

According to a 2017 article published on F1’s website,“the Mexican has taken to carrying a picture of the late Pope John Paul II on the inside of his cockpit after meeting the former pontiff and now canonised Saint in Italy some years ago.

“I have it because he touched my hand back in the 2000s,” explained Perez. “I really felt a big connection to him. And these days, although he has died, I still feel a big connection to him.

“He’s someone who I really trust and feel is on my side all the time. I feel having him in my car is very important – he gives me extra strength,” Pérez said.

Now social media users have speculated that some people want Pérez “cancelled” for liking a social media post expressing opposition to abortion, a belief that is in-line with Pérez’s religious beliefs.

The social media post the F1 icon liked earlier this month came from Alexander Acha, a fellow Mexican whose account is verified on the social media giant. Acha is a Latin Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and producer who boasts 294,000 followers on the platform.

In Acha’s pro-life Instagram post, liked by Pérez, he shared a photo of himself at a Mexican pro-life march with a blue armband. In the post, he explained that he believed women who undergo abortions should not get a jail sentence, but that he believed that regardless of the circumstances of the pregnancy, “the child doesn’t deserve the death penalty”.

The post read: “The woman who aborts doesn’t deserve to go to jail…but neither does the child deserve the death penalty.”

In the post, which has gathered almost 34,000 likes, he continued:

“How to reconcile what is fair for both? We need a dialogue with respect and openness that protects both parties.”

He called for a discussion with “no hate, no selfish interests” and pressed for a focus on “science and conscience” in the contentious debate around abortion.

Acha called out abortion as a band-aid to solving real problems, writing that the procedure does not tackle the root problems driving women to reject new life. Instead, Acha believes abortion prevents society from providing adequate answers to serious real-life problems; issues which are often used as reasoning for the acceptance of wide-spread abortion in our world today.

He wrote, “Abortion does not solve the inefficiency of adoption processes, abortion does not prevent a rape or solve the insecurity that the woman suffers, does not solve the machismo that submits, abortion does not solve the problem of children on the street, abortion doesn’t prevent an unwanted pregnancy.”

“Every one of those problems needs concrete solutions. It is true. But abortion doesn’t solve any of them,” he said.

In the post, he also called on politicians and those in government and judicial positions to confront the problem head-on.

“Dear Govenors, Judges, Deputies and Senators: Abortion is the easy way out, but it is not a solution. As a society…we deserve to take the time and invest the resources and effort to find integral, not palliative solutions. Let’s open a dialogue with respect that is fair to ALL. For both mother and son. [The] woman has rights, yes, but so does the other human being in her. A woman can decide on her body but not someone else’s.”

“The life inside her is a human life. It is science. It’s not a tissue, nor any other organ. It’s a different DNA from it. We need efficient processes. If motherhood is not desired, [the child] can be given to another family willing to take care of [him/her].

“Long live the woman. Long live the children. Viva Mexico!” the post concluded.

Whilst some predictably expressed opposition to the post in the attached comments section, others also praised the singer for speaking out on the issue.

After interacting with the widely-noticed post on Instagram, people speculated that Pérez was being “cancelled for liking a pro-life post”.

On Twitter, many users were swift to come to Pérez’s defence.

“People can have different opinions, doesn’t bother me. But ofc its twitter. Il b ready with the popcorn later,” one user wrote.

Another user who professed to being “pro-choice” also supported Perez for voicing his views despite likely opposition.

“I don’t see the problem really, unless I’m missing something, and I’m pro-choice,” the user wrote.  They continued, “He’s agreeing that women who abort don’t deserve prison, which they don’t. He’s also agreeing that unborn babies don’t deserve to die, which they don’t”.

Another wrote, “He’s spitting facts” while many jumped to his defence, citing the need for freedom of speech and the right to expression of opinions or beliefs and saying it was ‘ridiculous’ that he was being criticised.

“Well…he ain’t really wrong tho, people just have to understand different people have different opinions, move on,” one comment read, while another person said: “People get so angry about this? …Leave the man be. This is the problem with the people today”.

“I personally don’t find a problem with him liking that post. Every living creature has the right to thrive. Abortion is the easy way out not the solution. I can’t understand what’s the fuss about against Checo,” one comment read.

Others however berated him, with one person sharing a meme and writing, “F*** sake Checo”.  Another person with a differing view from Checo’s personal pro-life stance shared the instagram post in question, which was originally written in Spanish, however, their tone was more sympathetic

“This is the translated tweet. It isn’t that bad in my opinion. (Fyi, I’m for abortions),” the user wrote.

 

 

 

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