Two days after Politico disclosed a draft of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion that would reverse the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision allowing abortion rights, several high-profile female athletes spoke out against the proposed change. On Wednesday, the WNBA released a statement pledging it would “continue to support and advocate for women” after the news broke.
“The WNBA believes all women have the right to autonomy over their bodies and fair and equal access to health care,” the statement read. “We will continue to support and advocate for women and their personal decisions regarding their health. We also must act to protect women’s rights, and elections have consequences. That is why civic engagement and voting rights will remain a focus as we tip off the 2022 WNBA season.”
Individual players spoke out prior to the league’s statement on the matter, expressing disappointment and frustration at the Court’s reported decision. Among them was Mystics forward Tianna Hawkins, who said she cannot fathom the idea of living in a society where people “can’t freely choose what they want to do.”
“I don’t think there’s ever a situation where someone who is not yourself should say, ‘Oh, well, you can’t keep your baby,’ or, ‘You should keep your baby,’ or stuff like that… you should have the freedom to do that,” Hawkins said after a Mystics practice, per The Washington Post.
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“What if you want to conceive, and then the doctor says at early stages there is a deformity or something like that? You’re telling me if I want to save my child from struggling or pain and stuff like that, I have to bring him into this world and just let him suffer and die, and not do it early on?”
The 2022 WNBA season is set to tip off May 6.