500 Female Athletes Urge Supreme Court To Protect Abortion Rights

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Removing access to abortion from female athletes would force many of them to “sacrifice their athletic aspirations and activities”, her letter reads.

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More than 500 current and former female athletes petitioned the US Supreme Court on Monday threatening the dismissal of judges abortion Access would have a “disastrous” impact on women’s sport.

The day the legal filing comes in the Supreme Court announced that on December 1 this one will hear Mississippi abortion case With regard to pre-viability restrictions, in 1973 Roe v. Allowing to effectively directly challenge abortion protections established by Wade. 24 states If the Supreme Court upholds the ban, it will immediately block access to the process.

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Monday’s filing took a serious look at the ways the 514 signatories could easily end the forced pregnancies that have plagued the careers of many female athletes. The women who signed the letter include soccer star Megan Rapinoe, water polo star Ashley Johnson and Lecia Clarendon, who serves as vice president of the WNBPA.

Chrissy Parham, an Olympic swimmer who won a gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Games, revealed for the first time publicly that she had a miscarriage after birth control failed, while competing in college. The decision allowed her to compete in a race that “changed the course of my life,” she wrote.

I was on a scholarship, I was just starting to be successful in my sport, and I didn’t want to take a year off. I decided to have an abortion. I wasn’t ready to be a mother, and having a miscarriage felt like I was given a second chance at life. I was able to take control of my future and refocus on my priorities. I got better in school, I started training really hard, and that summer, I won my first national championship. If I was pregnant and I was forced to sit out of that race, my life would have been very different, because that race changed the course of my life. It opened up a lot of opportunities, and a year later, I made the Olympic team.

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The letter contains the signatures of 26 Olympians, 73 professional athletes and 276 intercollegiate athletes. Female athletes won nearly 60% of Team USA’s medals at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, the filing stresses.

“The demands of athletics and pregnancy are intense both physically and emotionally,” the filing states. “If women lose the agency to make personal, personal choices to balance these competing demands, many will be forced to abandon their athletic aspirations and activities.”

Citing the experience of Olympic sprinter Kara Groucher, there are plenty of examples of women whose athletic activities suffered during and after pregnancy.

Some women suffer physical and mental health changes long after giving birth, permanently jeopardizing their athletic activities. For example, after Kara Groucher, an Olympic and professional runner, was born, her doctor “told her she had to choose: run 120 miles every week or breastfeed her son. Her body couldn’t do both.” And she “has suffered from chronic hip injuries since running the Boston Marathon seven months after the baby was born.”

Beyond the physical impact, pregnancy and childbirth also often take an emotional and financial toll on women, the filing emphasized.

The next generation of female athletes “should be guaranteed physical integrity and judgmental autonomy to participate fully and equitably in sports,” the women wrote.

You can read the full filing Here.

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