Georgia Abortion Law Should Take Effect, Appeals Court Rules
A federal appeals court ruled today that Georgia’s restrictive 2019 abortion law should be allowed to take effect, overruling a lower court. The three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a Mississippi case that overturned Roe v. Wade and returned abortion law to the states, “makes clear no right to abortion exists under the Constitution, so Georgia may prohibit them.
As American women seethe over the loss of their rights and full standing in society, the WNBA and the NWSL have an opportunity to make a strong statement on their behalf.
Both leagues plan to add two expansion teams over the next three years, and at least a dozen cities have expressed interest. The WNBA and NWSL must make it clear, in no uncertain terms, that bidders from states hostile to women are not welcome.
Given that about half the country now has laws restricting a woman’s bodily autonomy, this could mean the leagues will have to take a pass on the most lucrative bid. Or one from owners willing to build the Taj Mahal of stadiums and/or training facilities. Even one from majority-female ownership groups.
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If a state doesn’t trust women enough to decide what is best for themselves, if it doesn’t see them as having value for anything beyond breeding, then that state doesn’t deserve to reap the benefits that come from being associated with women athletes. These states don’t get to tell women that they don’t matter and then turn around and profit off their work through taxes and other revenue.
And while it would be nice if all companies took that stance and stood up for the women who are their employees and consumers, it must be non-negotiable for women’s sports leagues.
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The US made a substantial offer to Russia for WNBA star Brittney Griner. The deal is potentially dangerous, some experts say. But it may be necessary.Reactions from experts in hostage negotiation were split. Publicizing deals to free Americans sets bad precedent and endangers Americans, some say. Others believe previous examples of such exchanges demonstrate it's the only way to safely return wrongly detained prisoners.
NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman appears to understand that, saying last week that reproductive rights “would be part of the analysis” when considering expansion bids.
“I think we have to look at that not just from an expansion perspective, but really even our current landscape,” Berman said. “It’s one of the things that we’re actually currently analyzing, which is looking even at our current markets to see where we have some differentiation between our values and what we stand behind relative to where we have teams located currently, and what are the solutions we can put in place.”
Asked a similar question at the All-Star Game, and then a follow-up, WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert responded with word salads. She spoke of the importance of civic engagement, and seemed to suggest that a state courting a WNBA team would be well-aware of the league’s history of diversity and social justice activism and so would of course be supportive of women’s rights.
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Except that the Dallas Wings moved to Texas in 2016, and that hasn’t stopped that state’s hateful treatment of women.
“It’s important now that women’s sports are really coming to the forefront and investment is coming in to really act like they’re an 'A' team. They’re varsity. They have the ability to affect change. Period. End of story,” said Marian Hanson, who in a blog post last week raised the idea that women’s sports could become as powerful a lobby as the NRA.
“2022 is the spotlight moment for women’s sports, and it happens to intersect with the most horrific ruling the Supreme Court has ever made. Take that opportunity, flex your muscles and let’s start organizing,” said Hanson, the co-founder and CEO of Bardolf, a marketing and business development company.
It’s worked before.
MORE: Where are the male athlete allies for women as Roe v. Wade is overturned? | Opinion
MORE: Gains of Title IX are not possible without access to abortion rights | Opinion
North Carolina repealed its so-called “bathroom” bill targeting transgender people after the NBA and NCAA yanked events out of the state. The WNBA helped flip control of the Senate after it mobilized behind Raphael Warnock, who was running against Kelly Loeffler, the former Atlanta Dream owner who criticized her own players for their social justice efforts.
Justice Alito mocks foreign critics of abortion reversal
WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Samuel Alito mocked foreign leaders’ criticism of the Supreme Court decision he authored overturning a constitutional right to abortion, in his first public comments since last month's ruling. The justice's remarks drew more criticism as well as some support. Speaking in Rome at a religious liberty summit, Alito, 72, spent only a couple of minutes on the subject of abortion, and then only to discuss his foreign critics — an unusual step for a high court justice.
And if a full-throated defense of reproductive rights and bodily autonomy alienates a sponsor? Then that company really isn’t invested in women, and the leagues shouldn’t be doing business with them, anyway.
“You’ve got to lead from a place of courage and a place of strength,” Hanson said. “Right now, women’s sports have a place of strength. The question is, do they have the courage?”
There is a war being waged against the women of this country, and anyone with any kind of leverage must use it. For the WNBA and NWSL, that means telling states that are targeting women that their interest, be it in expansion or tent-pole events like All-Star Games and the draft, is not welcome and will not be reciprocated.
By standing up to bigotry, they'll be standing up for women.
Follow USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour.
A young woman holds a sign demanding a woman's right to abortion at a demonstration to protest the closing of an abortion clinic at the Dade County building in Madison, Wis., on April 20, 1971. The Midwest Medical Center was closed after authorities said more than 900 abortions had been performed at the facility in violation of the state's abortion laws. On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court legalized abortion with a 7-2 vote.
Demonstrators demanding a woman's right to choose march to the U.S. Capitol for a rally seeking the repeal of all anti-abortion laws in Washington, D.C., Nov. 20, 1971. On the other side of the Capitol was a demonstration held by those who are against abortion.
Ti-Grace Atkinson, a leader in the feminist movement, is taken into custody outside President Richard Nixon’s campaign headquarters in N.Y. on Oct. 23, 1972, after police said she and other demonstrators were blocking sidewalks and traffic. She and other women’s rights advocates were protesting the president’s positions on child care and abortion when the incident occurred.
Members of the New York State Doctors and Nurses Against Abortion picket the east front of the Capitol in Albany, N.Y., April 26, 1972. The group is from St. Vincent's Hospital and New York Foundling Hospital in Manhattan, and are also members of the New York Archdiocesan Council of Nurses.
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American Party presidential candidate John G. Schmitz leads a protest in front of a clinic in New York City, speaking against abortion on Aug. 28, 1972.
Ellen McCormick of Long Island, N.Y., puts a sign on the funeral flowers delivered at the Capitol in Albany on May 5, 1972. The Right to Life organization sent flowers to the Long Island office of assembly speaker Perry Duryea Jr., as well as having these delivered to the Capitol.
A crowd of anti-abortion rights protesters gather in mild rain on the steps of the capitol buildng in Albany, N.Y., May 4, 1972.
Right to abortion in Kansas: "There are conservative voters who think that it is necessary to preserve this freedom", analyzes the political scientist Nicole Bacharan
for the historian specialist in the United States, the maintenance of the constitutional guarantee From abortion to kansas is an "important backdrop" for anti-abortion. Franceinfo: What exactly does this Kansas decision means? Nicole Bacharan: This is the first popular vote on this issue of abortion since the Supreme Court made it possible to ban abortion in this country. The vote is final. 59% of Kansas citizens want abortion to remain legal in their state.
Opponents and proponents of abortion rights legislation due for a vote in state assembly argue their viewpoints on the steps of the state house in Trenton, N.J., April 30, 1973. George McShane, left, of Old Bridge, was against abortion rights, while Jean Ambrose, right, of Westfield was for abortion rights.
Opponents of abortion laws rally outside the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, Wis., April 25, 1973, before a hearing on several abortion bills by the assembly judiciary committee.
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Birth control advocate Bill Baird, center, and Carol Morreale, left, as they led a demonstration outside the Immaculate Conception Church, Aug. 18, 1974 in Marlboro, Mass., protesting the denial of the baptismal sacrament to 3-month-old Nathaniel Morreale. Carol Morreale, the child's mother, publicly advocated that women be given the right to choose whether they will have an abortion.
A fireman walks by a wall bearing a protest message against abortions as a special alarm fire gutted the Planned parenhood clinic in St. Paul, Minn., Feb. 23, 1977. The clinic was the site of a number of demonstrations staged against abortions.
Pro- and anti-abortion rights demonstrators picketed outside the Portland, Ore., on Oct. 23, 1977, while Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Joseph Califano spoke at a Democratic party fundraising gathering.
Participants in an International Women's Day demonstration march along Broadway in New York City, March 12, 1977. The demonstration was called in support of the Equal Rights Amendment, no restrictions on abortion, full employment and affirmative action measures.
Norma McCorvey, 35, the Dallas mother whose desire to have an abortion was the basis for a landmark Supreme Court decision poses in Terrell, Texas, on, Jan. 21, 1983. To legal scholars, she is simply "Jane Roe," the fictitious name McCorvey used when her two attorneys filed her historic lawsuit.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Abortion rights must be line in the sand for WNBA, NWSL when considering expansion | Opinion
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