On Monday, more than 500 professional, collegiate and high school athletes filed an amicus brief that voices their disdain for a Mississippi law that bans abortions after a person has been pregnant for more than 15 weeks. WNBA stars Nneka Ogwumike, Layshia Clarendon and Crystal Dangerfield were among the athletes who signed the brief calling for a change in the southern state.
“Athletic prowess depends on bodily integrity,” the brief states.
“This reality is magnified for women athletes for whom childbearing age coincides with their competitive peak in athletics. 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.”
Laws implemented in Mississippi, Texas and several other states have opposed the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that was issued in 1973. With abortion access being restricted in several states, a group of nearly 900 state lawmakers has also issued a brief calling for the Supreme Court to uphold Roe v. Wade.
“The right of each of us to make our own health decisions is extremely popular,” North Carolina Senator Nathalie Murdock stated.
“Efforts by lawmakers to dismantle Roe are not supported by the vast majority of the public. This amicus brief represents not only the views of the hundreds of legislators who signed on, but their millions of constituents who all agree it’s time to make legal abortion an immediate reality.”
In approximately 10 weeks, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. The outcome of the case will determine if Mississippi's abortion law is constitutional or not. Ultimately, this decision will have a major impact on laws instituted in Texas and several other states across the country that seek to reduce abortion access.