WNBA, NWSL and athletes react after US Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade

The Women’s National Basketball Association, the National Women’s Soccer League and sports icons such as Megan Rapinoe, LeBron James and Billie Jean King have spoken out against the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the federal law of abortion.

In a 5-3-1 decision on Friday local time, the court said the 1972 Roe v Wade decision – which had guaranteed women the right to autonomy over their own bodies for 50 years – was unconstitutional and that the Individual states would now decide whether to criminalize abortion access.

As news filtered across America and the world, several sports leagues and athletes released statements condemning the decision.

The WNBA – America’s women’s professional basketball league and a competition at the forefront of social issues such as the Black Lives Matter movement – ​​was one of the first to speak out.

“This decision shows a branch of government that is so out of touch with the country and any sense of human dignity,” the statement began. He then encouraged Americans to vote.

“We must recognize that when we vote it is to elect leaders and to connect the dots to policies and legislation that align with our values.”

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The reaction condemning the court’s decision was swift, with the two women and male athletes on social networks to express their opinions.

The decision comes just two days after the 50th anniversary of Title IX, a Federal Court ruling banning gender discrimination in government-funded education programs.

He is widely recognized as promoting gender equality in American college sports and improving opportunities for millions of American women.

Tennis great Billie Jean King – who recently gave a speech celebrating the legacy of Title IX alongside First Lady Dr. Jill Biden – also criticized the abortion decision on Saturday.

“The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, who for nearly 50 years protected the right to abortion,” King tweeted.

“This decision will not end abortion. What it will end is safe and legal access to this life-saving medical procedure. It is a sad day in the United States.”

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About half of the nation’s states — most of which have conservative governments — are on the verge of implementing laws banning abortion.

The National Women’s Soccer League, as well as its 12 clubs – many of which contain female player mothers – have each issued statements condemning the decision.

“Today’s Supreme Court decision deprives individuals of this country of the full freedom and equality that are the cornerstone of a just society,” said NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman.

“The NWSL is more than just a football league. We are a collective that will stand up for what is right every day.”

In an impassioned 10-minute speech, United States Women’s National Team striker and former Ballon D’Or winner Megan Rapinoe spoke of the ‘heartbreak’ of the moment and called on men across the states States to consider their own passive role in creating an environment. for such a decision to occur.

“You’ve been quiet with us,” Rapinoe said. “Get up. Say something. She’s your wife, she’s your sister, she’s your friend, she’s your girlfriend, she’s the mother of your kids. It’s all of us.

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“And you allow a violent and constant attack on the autonomy of women’s bodies, on women’s rights, on women’s minds, on our hearts, on our souls. We live in a country that always tries to reduce to nullifying what you have allowed, what you have had the privilege of feeling all your life.

“No woman should be the loudest voice in the room. That’s what alliance looks like. That’s what, frankly, doing the right thing looks like.

“We haven’t done this to ourselves. And I would take this personally, what I’m saying, as an accusation; as a time to come to Jesus.

“Look in the mirror. You’re complicit in all of this.”

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