WNBA, players speaking out after leaked Supreme Court opinion on abortion rights

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Plenty across the WNBA world are speaking out this week after a draft of a Supreme Court opinion that would overturn abortion rights across the country was leaked on Monday.

A draft opinion from earlier this year was released by Politico on Monday that would overturn the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision. That move, if the opinion were to be finalized, would send abortion rights back to individual states — where many are poised to ban abortion entirely.

The news has sparked massive protests and backlash since it was initially reported, including in the WNBA ahead of Friday’s season opener.

The league, like some teams did, put out a statement on Wednesday afternoon, too.

“The WNBA believes all women have the right to autonomy over their bodies and fair and equal access to healthcare,” the WNBA said in a statement. “We will continue to support and advocate for women and their personal decisions regarding their health. We must also 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.”

Washington Mystics forward Tianna Hawkins, who has a 6-year-old son, said she thinks restrictions on abortion access are just the beginning.

“I feel like everyone should have a choice on what they want to do with their bodies,” Hawkins said, via The Washington Post. “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 … But 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?

“I just don’t understand why we live in a society where we can’t freely choose what we want to do. And that goes for everything. What we do with our body, who we sleep with, who we date — it’s nobody’s business. I only see it getting worse … And that’s the scary part, especially when you have kids.”

Mystics coach Mike Thibault spoke out about it on Tuesday afternoon, too.

“We’ve come so far in our country and we’ve started, in the last year or two, tearing apart things that meant so much to us,” Thibault said, via The Washington Post. “And the last four years, five years have, in my mind, been regressive in many ways.”

“I’m not big on using sports right now to make a lot of political statements, but it’s disappointing to see the kinds of things that have happened over the last five years. I had hope after the last national election. But there’s such a divide in our country that’s unnecessary. We can disagree about some things, but we’re constantly forcing each other to choose sides. We’re supposed to all be on the same team. And that’s the hard part for me.”

Those two were far from alone in voicing their displeasure with the reports.

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