Hundreds of US athletes urge Supreme Court to protect abortion rights

Washington DC - A group of more than 500 women athletes, coaches, and sports associations have urged the US Supreme Court to protect abortion rights.

Megan Rapinoe, along with over 500 other female athletes, coaches, and sports associations, signed a formal appeal to the Supreme Court to protect abortion rights (stock image).
Megan Rapinoe, along with over 500 other female athletes, coaches, and sports associations, signed a formal appeal to the Supreme Court to protect abortion rights (stock image).  © Collage: 123RF/sepavo & IMAGO / Xinhua

Known collectively as Athlete Amici, the athletes signed a formal appeal to argue that the right to abortion is essential for women athletes to pursue their sports at the same level men are afforded.

The group urged the court to reject a Mississippi law that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Signatories include the likes of soccer star Megan Rapinoe, WNBA All-Star Diana Taurasi, and Olympic swimmer Crissy Perham.

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Perham, a double gold medallist, revealed in the paperwork that she became pregnant 30 years ago while in college and decided to have an abortion.

"I can count on one hand how many people I’ve told about my abortion. Until now. I made the choice that was right for me and my future, and I stand by my decision," Perham wrote.

"I’m finally speaking up and sharing my story because there shouldn’t be a stigma surrounding personal healthcare decisions. Women know what’s best for our own bodies and lives, and our autonomy needs to be respected."

All of Amici had "exercised, relied on the availability of, or support the constitutional right to abortion care in order to meet the demands of their sport and unleash their athletic potential," the filing states.

"Indeed, Amici are united in their belief that the physical tolls of forced pregnancy and childbirth would undermine athletes’ ability to actualize their full human potential."

Cover photo: Collage: 123RF/sepavo & IMAGO / Xinhua

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