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  • Tiffany Rigby

Women athletes want to protect the rights of women

Updated: Sep 28, 2021

A group of women athletes asked for the US Supreme Court to protect the rights of women to

have an abortion in a case involving Mississippi's plan to ban the procedure after 15 weeks of


More than 500 athletes and groups signed a friend-of-the-court brief to the justices, including 26 Olympians, 73 professional athletes and various athlete associations. They argued that abortion rights have helped the growth of women's sports and expressed concern that future athletes would suffer without those protections.

They have asked the court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority to overturn the landmark

1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that recognized a woman's right to end a pregnancy and made

abortion legal nationwide after it was outlawed in certain states. Without the right to terminate a pregnancy, "the physical tolls of forced pregnancy and childbirth would undermine athletes' ability to actualize their full human potential," the brief stated.

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, a Republican backed by abortion opponents, said in

papers filed with the court in July that the Roe v. Wade ruling and a subsequent 1992 decision

that affirmed it were both "egregiously wrong" and should be overturned.

The Supreme Court on Monday has set oral arguments in the case for December 1st. A ruling is

due by the end of next June. Mississippi's court filing marked the first time that the Republican governed state, in seeking to revive a law blocked by lower courts, made overturning Roe v. Wade is a central part of its argument.

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