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2021 Costume Institute Benefit – In America: A Lexicon of Fashion On Monday, over 500 women — including U.S. women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe and hundreds of professional athletes, Olympians, and college athletes — called on the Supreme Court to strike down a Mississippi law that would ban abortions after 15 weeks in most circumstances. Their actions come as the Supreme Court set a December date to hear the case.
“[We] believe that, like themselves, the next generation of women athletes must be guaranteed bodily integrity and decisional autonomy in order to fully and equally participate in sports,” the women wrote in an amicus brief.
WNBA players Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird — Rapinoe’s fiance — are two of the women’s athletes that are part of the brief.
The group argues that abortion is a major factor in the “enormous success” of women’s sports and that women’s participation in sports would be “severely impaired” if the right to access abortion is restricted. Women’s ability to ‘participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation’—including through high school, collegiate, and professional sports—’has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.’ … Absent the right to access safe and legal abortion care, and the ability of ‘the woman to retain the ultimate control over her destiny and her body,’ … women’s sports would not be the enormous success they are today. Among other reasons, women’s ability to participate and excel in athletics would decline, severely impairing the vitality of sports in the United States. Further, women and girls would be deprived of the multitude of collateral benefits that result from athletic participation, including greater educational success, career advancement, enhanced self-esteem, and improved health.
The brief continues, claiming that men and women only have a short window to “achieve their greatest athletic potential,” and, if “the State compelled women athletes to carry pregnancies to term and give birth, it could derail women’s athletic careers, academic futures, and economic livelihoods at a large scale.”
“Absent women’s ability to control their bodies and reproductive decisions, the remarkable increase in women’s participation and success in […]
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