Female Athletes Express Pro-Abortion Support to Supreme Court

Image by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Over 500 female athletes from all walks of sport recently filed a formal brief to the Supreme Court against the Texas and Mississippi anti-abortion laws. Women’s sports stars such as soccer captain Megan Rapinoe and basketball legend Sue Bird have already signed the statement of grievances. Some 56,000 citizens have also signed a petition asking for the 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four to be relocated from the originally set stadium in Dallas.

Women across the country have been in an uproar about the new SB-8 bill that bans abortions in Texas after any fetal heartbeat can be detected. Olympic swimmer Crissy Perham said, “I wasn’t ready to be a mom, and having an abortion felt like I was given a second chance at life… I was able to take control of my future and refocus my priorities.”

The statement to the Supreme Court details how women in sports benefit from reproductive rights and abortion access and how lack of availability harms the future of women. The signees of the brief asked the Supreme Court to overrule the decision made by Texas and to continue to “uphold women’s rights.”

Two Supreme Court decisions, Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), established that women have the right to abortion and set the precedence that women could have access to abortions before 24 weeks. However, a recently more conservative Supreme Court has allowed states to crack down on abortion access. Over the summer, Texas approved the SB-8 “Heartbeat Bill,” and Mississippi banned abortions past 15 weeks in 2018.

According to the Pew Research Center, 59% of US adults said that they think abortion should be legal in “most/all cases.” Only 13% of adults believe that all abortions should be illegal. The changing landscape behind the argument of abortion could have lasting effects on our current political scene, as seen by the recent petitions and statements issued by female athletes.

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