DC United has expressed support for women’s reproductive rights in light of President Joe Biden’s directive to health officials to ensure that abortion pills were accessible to American women.
D.C. United is a professional soccer club based in Washington, D.C. that competes in Major League Soccer‘s Eastern Conference, the top tier of American soccer.
On June 25, 2022, the MLS team published a message on their various social media channels to offer their support for the ongoing fight for reproductive rights in the US.
The struggle for reproductive rights in America is about to shift to a new front as conservative US states hurry to adopt abortion bans in the wake of the Supreme Court’s shocking ruling.
Hence, the Biden administration will concentrate on increasing access to abortion pills for women living in states where the procedure is prohibited or restricted because it has few other options, even though those states and strong conservative groups are certain to bring legal obstacles to prevent the use of the pills.
President Joe Biden instructed health officials to ensure that abortion pills were accessible to American women on Friday, June 24, 2022, hours after the high court overturned 50 years of constitutional protections for abortion rights.
A statement from DC United read: “Reproductive rights are fundamental human rights.
“We stand in solidarity with those who may fear the repercussions of yesterday’s decision and are committed to creating spaces where all feel safe, welcome, and supported.
“Our club is committed to fighting for human rights, inclusion, and social justice.”
While addressing the nation, the US president said: “I will do all in my power to protect a woman’s right in states where they will face the consequences of today’s decision”.
Half of all abortions performed in the United States were done using the abortion pills, which may be used to end a pregnancy up to 10 weeks gestation without posing a major danger.
After 11 states, largely in the Republican-led conservative South, decided to severely restrict or outright outlaw abortion, demand is expected to skyrocket as more are expected to follow suit.
Already on Saturday, demonstrators yelled, “My body, my choice” as they rallied in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, the capital of the US. Some campaigners held up posters with directions on how to obtain abortion pills.
The situation currently faced by American women is not as tragic as it was 50 years ago, before the landmark Roe v. Wade decision of 1973 that established abortion rights in America, according to Rebecca Gomperts, a Dutch doctor who runs Aid Access, an Austrian organization that provides abortion pills over the internet.
“The abortion pills cannot be stopped,” Gomperts told AFP in a phone interview. “So there is always access to a safe abortion if a woman has an unwanted pregnancy.”
But after Friday’s ruling, that may be easier said than done.
Which other National Sports Leagues are in support of reproductive rights?
Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on Friday, several major professional sports leagues indicated their support for reproductive rights aside from the MLS side.
In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court declared that abortion is not a constitutionally guaranteed right, thus removing government safeguards for the procedure.
“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 should be protected,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a statement.
“We will continue to advocate for gender and health equity, including ensuring our employees have access to reproductive health care, regardless of their location,” they added.
National Women’s Soccer League
“The NWSL Players Association strongly condemns today’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade — a decision that effectively takes away a person’s rights to make decisions about their own body, a basic human right at the core of every aspect of life,” the NWSLPA said on Twitter.
“This ‘pro-life’ decision will result in the deaths of an untold number of women, particularly in marginalized communities,” the organization added. “The NWSLPA will support the work that is again necessary to liberate all of us from today’s devastating ruling.”