The Women’s National Basketball Players Association responded to the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn a woman’s constitutional right to have an abortion by focusing on the right to vote and urging people to “vote as if our lives depended on it. Because they do.” do.”
In a statement, the WNBPA said: “This decision shows a branch of government that has so little contact with the country and any sense of human dignity.”
“We need to recognize that voting is about electing officials and connecting the dots with policies and laws consistent with our values,” the WNBPA said.
The Supreme Court on Friday voted 5-4 to set aside the Roe v. Wade, a decision expected to lead to abortion bans in about half of the states. The ruling came more than a month after the leak of a draft opinion by Judge Samuel Alito showing the court was ready to take the momentous step, and it was backed by the court’s conservative majority.
Alito wrote in the final statement that the original 1973 decision on Roe and a 1992 decision reaffirming it (Planned Parenthood v. Casey) “were wrong on the day they were decided and must be reversed.” .
Alito wrote that the authority to regulate abortion rests with the political branches of government, not the courts. It is up to the states to decide.
“We therefore believe that the constitution does not grant a right to abortion. Roe and Casey must be overridden and authority to regulate abortion returned to the people and their elected officials,” Alito wrote.
Judges Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Clarence Thomas joined the majority. Chief Justice John Roberts voted to uphold a Mississippi law banning abortion at 15 weeks, allowing the case to go to the Supreme Court, but he did not vote to overthrow Roe.
The ruling is expected to result in abortion bans in about half the states, some of which will start immediately.
“It’s just incredibly disheartening. There are endless reasons why a woman chooses to do what she does with her body, or what they do with her body – none of which is anyone’s business.”
USWNT star Megan Rapinoe
Three of the court’s liberal justices, in a joint dissent, wrote that the decision would bring “mourning” for the tens of millions of American women who would lose “basic protections of the Constitution.” The WNBPA statement said an abortion ban “could result in higher maternal mortality while undermining the right to reproductive freedom for all.”
In September, a number of prominent female athletes, including soccer star Megan Rapinoe and basketball luminaries Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird, joined 500 athletes and groups in signing a “Friend of the Court” brief in front of the judges. The group included 26 Olympians, 73 professional athletes and various athletic associations. They argued that abortion rights helped the growth of women’s sport and expressed concern that without such protections, future athletes would suffer.
Rapinoe called it a “really sad, sad day” on Friday and said the ruling was “completely misguided and utterly removed from what the country wants.”
“The right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness and liberty is being attacked in this case,” Rapinoe said. “And it’s just incredibly disheartening. There are endless reasons why a woman chooses to do what she does with her body, or what they do with her body – none of which is anyone’s business.”
Lindsey Horan, Rapinoe’s teammate on the US women’s national soccer team, said, “I’m still a little bit in shock and trying to absorb it all. But I feel like this is a step backwards for our country.”
In a statement, the National Women’s Soccer League wrote that the ruling “denies the people of this country full liberty and equality, which are the cornerstones of a just society.”
The statement added: “Reproductive rights are human rights. Our work is not done until every individual has the same freedoms as their neighbors. We will continue to make our voices heard.”
Bird, who is engaged to Rapinoe, took to Twitter to respond to the Supreme Court’s decision.
– Sue Vogel (@S10Bird) June 24, 2022
Bird’s WNBA team, the Seattle Storm, released a statement on Twitter that also referenced Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling on gun rights.
Angry and ready to fight. pic.twitter.com/6fdEHUd4pM
— Seattle Storm (@seattlestorm) June 24, 2022
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert issued a joint statement Friday afternoon.
“The NBA and WNBA believe women should be able to make their own decisions about their health and future, and we believe freedom should be protected,” the leagues’ statement read. “We will remain committed to gender and health equity, including ensuring our employees have access to reproductive health care regardless of their location.”
The much-anticipated ruling, which was welcomed by pro-life conservatives, drew criticism from a number of prominent athletes on social media.
Tennis legend Billie Jean King wrote: “This decision will not end abortion…it’s a sad day in the United States.”
wrote Portland Trail Blazers guard Josh Hart: “To the women of this country…I’m sorry.”
Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.
https://www.espn.com/wnba/story/_/id/34143311/wnba-players-union-decries-overturning-roe-v-wade WNBA players’ union decries overturning of Roe v. Wade