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Megan Rapinoe, Sue Bird among athletes urging Supreme Court to protect abortion rights

Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

As the Supreme Court gets set to hear a case involving Mississippi’s Republican-backed bid to ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, some of the most prominent women athletes are urging the Supreme Court to protect those rights.

The bid seeks to overturn Roe vs. Wade, a 1973 ruling that recognized a woman’s right to end a pregnancy and made abortion legal nationwide.

More than 500 athletes and groups signed a friend-of-the-court brief to the justices, including 26 Olympians, 73 professional athletes and various associations. Among them include soccer star Megan Rapinoe and basketball staples Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird.

The athletes argued that abortion rights have helped to grow women’s sports, and they expressed concern over athletes’ futures without the same protections.

“The physical tolls of forced pregnancy and childbirth would undermine athletes’ ability to actualize their full human potential,” the brief stated.

“As women athletes and people in sports, we must have the power to make important decisions about our own bodies and exert control over our reproductive lives,” said Rapinoe, a two-time World Cup winner and an Olympic gold medalist, in a statement. Additionally, she called legislation that seeks to end abortion rights “infuriating and un-American.”

Oral arguments in the case are set for December 1, with a ruling due by the end of next June.