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Women athletes voice their opinion on the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs Wade

Female athletes from across the world have reacted to Friday’s vote by the US Supreme Court to overrule the landmark 1973 Roe vs Wade decision.

Soccer Football - Women's World Cup - Quarter Final - France v United States - Parc des Princes, Paris, France - June 28, 2019  Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. celebrates scoring their second goal   REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Female athletes from across the world have reacted to Friday’s vote by the US Supreme Court to overrule the landmark 1973 Roe vs Wade decision. The court’s decision overturns the ruling which established access to abortion as a constitutional right. The sweeping ruling by the court, with a 6-3 conservative majority, is set to vastly change American life, with nearly half the states considered now certain or likely to ban abortion.

USWNT star Megan Rapinoe, who will be in action for the national team for tonight’s game against Colombia in Colorado, was one of the first to publicly denounce the decision. “I think the cruelty is the point because this is not pro life by any means. We live in country that forever tries to chip away what you have innately, what you have been privileged enough to feel your entire life,” she said, while asking on her Twitter account, “I don’t know if this is happening already, but I would love to see a Me Too-style viral moment for ALL THE MEN who have benefitted from abortions as well. Open to ideas”.

Her former club, Sound FC also released a statement which she retweeted, it read: “Regarding this morning’s ruling by the United States Supreme Court, we believe in the right to autonomy over our bodies, and the right to choose. Reproductive rights are human rights. We know that many of you are hurt and angry and frustrated. Our club is committed to fighting for inclusion, tolerance and justice in our community”.

Gymnast Simone Biles was flabbergasted to express how horrified she feels about the ruling and what it entails, and tweeted, “I need to stay off twitter before I start speaking my mind forreal (sic),” but replied to one poster’s argument about the right to abortion not being in the Constitution, “Baby the constitution was written in 1787, grow up”.

In tennis, Coco Gauff, currently ranked No.12 in the world, tweeted, “Incredibly disappointed by the decision made today. The sad part is this will not stop abortions from happening… this will only increase illegal and unsafe abortions. Today is a very sad day for our country and I cannot believe once again history is repeating itself”.

While Martina Navratilova, a staunch supporter of Women’s Rights, made numerous comments and retweets, among them, one with quotes from four members of the Supreme Court: “Lying liars and the lies they lie about”.

Naomi Osaka retweeted a post by former US president Barack Obama, which read: “Today, the Supreme Court not only reversed nearly 50 years of precedent, it relegated the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues—attacking the essential freedoms of millions of Americans”. Likewise, Sloane Stephens retweeted Michelle Obama’s statement in which she said she was “heartbroken” at the decision.

Tennis legend Billie Jean King declared the decision marked “a sad day” for her country: “The Supreme Court has struck down Roe v. Wade, which for nearly 50 years has protected the right to abortion. This decision will not end abortion. What it will end is safe and legal access to this vital medical procedure. It is a sad day in the United States”.

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert issued a joint statement with her NBA counterpart Adam Silver: “The NBA and WNBA believe that women should be able to make their own decisions concerning their health and future, and we believe that freedom must be protected. We will continue to advocate for gender and health equity, including ensuring our employees have access to reproductive health care, regardless of their location”.

NWSL franchise Orlando Pride put out a joint statement with Orlando City to voice their concern at the situation in Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed a bill that will ban all abortions after 15 weeks. The new law will become effective as of next week, 1 July, joining states where abortion is already illegal - Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas.

Their statement reads: “Access to safe reproductive health care and having autonomy over one’s body are basic, nonnegotiable human rights, and our club deeply objects to today’s Supreme Court decision.

“Today’s reversal of Roe v. Wade is one that will not only put many at risk, disproportionately those in bipoc and undeserved communities, but is one that opens the door for future discrimination and civil rights violations of other marginalized groups.

“We are motivated to continue using our platforms to elevate impactful voices and take action in our community. Defending human rights is a battle that we will continue to fight, both for those impacted today, and for those who may be targeted in the future”.


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