Over 500 female athletes, including Olympians Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird, urge the Supreme Court to uphold abortion rights

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  • Over 500 prominent female athletes, including Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird, urged the Supreme Court to protect abortion rights.
  • Rapinoe called efforts to restrict abortion in the country “infuriating and un-American.”
  • The Supreme Court will consider a major abortion case in the upcoming term.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

More than 500 prominent US female athletes called on the Supreme Court to protect abortion rights as the nine justices are scheduled to review a major abortion case this upcoming term.

“Pregnancy fundamentally transforms a woman’s body, impacting and potentially hindering an athlete’s access to higher education, elite competition, and a professional athletic career,” the athletes wrote in an amicus brief filed Monday. “Women athletes must have the power to decide whether and when to dedicate their bodies to athletics, pregnancy, or both.”

Soccer star Megan Rapinoe and basketball champion Sue Bird were among the hundreds of current and former female athletes that signed on to the brief, in which they urged the high court to reject a Mississippi law that aims to ban nearly all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on the Mississippi case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, starting December 1.

“Physically, we push ourselves to the absolute limit, so to have forces within this country trying to deny us control over our own bodies is infuriating and un-American and will be met with fierce resistance,” Rapinoe, an Olympic gold medalist and soccer superstar who has often been vocal about political issues, said in a statement.

The athletes also wrote in the brief that each of them have “exercised, relied on the availability of, or support the constitutional right to abortion care in order to meet the demands of their sport and unleash their athletic potential,” citing the abortion protections established under the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision Roe v. Wade and 1992 ruling Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

Crissy Perham, an Olympian swimmer, described in the brief her own experiences with getting an abortion nearly 30 years ago and said her life would’ve been “drastically different” if she had not done so.

“When I was in college, I was on birth control, but I accidentally became pregnant. I was on scholarship, I was just starting to succeed in my sport, and I didn’t want to take a year off,” the decorated athlete said. “I decided to have an abortion. I wasn’t ready to be a mom, and having an abortion felt like I was given a second chance at life.”

“It opened up so many opportunities, and a year later, I made the Olympic team,” she added.

The female athletes joined hundreds of state legislators and congressional lawmakers who have also recently signed on to amicus briefs demanding the Supreme Court uphold abortion rights.

The justices will hand down their ruling on the abortion case, which is widely considered a direct challenge to Roe and Casey, at the end of June next year.