WNBA players bashed Texas' 6-week abortion ban with a full-page New York Times ad

·2 min read
Nneka Ogwumike.
Nneka Ogwumike. Meg Oliphant/Getty Images
  • WNBA players took a stand against the Texas law that effectively bans abortion across the state.

  • The players' association took out a full-page New York Times ad to advocate for reproductive rights.

  • Stars also wore "abortion is healthcare" sweatshirts ahead of Sunday's WNBA Finals game.

WNBA players have never hesitated to use their voices to advocate for what they believe is right.

This week, they used their platform to speak out against the restrictive Texas law that bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

The WNBA players' association took out a full-page ad in Sunday's New York Times to demand #ReproductiveRightsNow. The ad states that "reproductive rights are human rights" and that "family planning is freedom."

"As professional athletes, our bodies are our instruments," the letter begins. "Our livelihoods. Our craft."

"Which means control of - and over - our bodies, both on and off the basketball court, is about much more than athletic performance, earning potential, or personal politics," it continues. "... Abortion, birth control, and fertility care are vital - not just for athletes who can get pregnant, but for all families and gender identities."

The players refer to laws like the one passed in Texas, known as the "Texas Heartbeat Act," as "cruel abortion bans." They implore Times readers to "join us in speaking out against oppressive laws - and lawmakers - that dehumanize us, deny our fundamental freedoms, and attempt to dictate our most basic rights."

"This isn't just our fight," the ad concludes. "It's everyone's. Our bodies, our health, and our futures are our OWN. Togther, let's tell our politicians to keep their hands off our reproductive rights - and their #BansOffOurBodies."

Layshia Clarendon.
Layshia Clarendon. AP Photo/John Bazemore

The letter was signed by members of the WNBPA Executive Committee and the WNBPA Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee - including Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike of the Los Angeles Sparks, Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart of the Seattle Storm, Layshia Clarendon and Nat Achonwa of the Minnesota Lynx, A'ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces, Satou Sabally of the Dallas Wings, Elizabeth Williams of the Atlanta Dream, and former WNBA players Sydney Colson and Tierra Ruffin-Pratt.

On the day the ad ran in the paper - the same day of Game 4 of the WNBA Finals - Ochonwa joined Phoenix Mercury stars Brittney Griner and Brianna Turner in wearing orange sweatshirts that read "Abortion is healthcare" across the front.

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