NBA commissioner Adam Silver and WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert issued a joint statement Friday following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and eliminate the constitutional right to abortion.
It reads as follows:
“The NBA and WNBA believe that women should be able to make their own decisions concerning their health and future, and we believe that freedom must be protected. We will continue to advocate for gender and health equity, including ensuring our employees have access to reproductive health care, regardless of their location.”
The controversial ruling eliminated a nearly 50-year precedent that federally protected women’s reproductive rights since 1973. According to NPR, 22 states currently have “laws in place that will immediately ban abortions or pave the way to ban or severely restrict access to them.”
Silver and Engelbert join a large contingent of athletes and other sports figures and organizations who have already expressed their thoughts on Friday’s overturning, including Megan Rapinoe and ESPN’s Malika Andrews.
“In less than 24 hours, we celebrated equal rights for women, and now we react to women’s reproductive rights being taken away,” said Andrews after acknowledging Thursday marked the 50th anniversary of Title IX.
“It’s hard to put into words how sad a day this is for me personally, for my teammates, for just all of the people out there this is going to affect,” Rapinoe said, per Yahoo Sports. “Pro-Choice means that you get to choose. Pro-Choice allows other people to be pro-life if that is what works for them, or that is what their beliefs are, or if that is where they’re at in their life. Pro-life doesn’t allow anybody to make a choice.”