States that impose restrictions on abortion after the Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade ruling last month could be excluded from consideration for the National Women's Soccer League's planned 2024 expansion.
''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, and what are the solutions we can put in place that we feel comfortable we can commit to and execute on,'' league Commissioner Jessica Berman told The Washington Post on Monday.
''Certainly, in the context of expansion that would be part of the analysis.''
According to the report, the 12-team league is hoping to add two teams in 2024 and held a Board of Governors meeting this past week to discuss the issue along with other league business.
In addition to potential expansion teams, the league must also decide how to handle its current teams in Florida, which has a 15-week limit on abortion, and Kentucky, where an abortion ban is currently going through the courts.
The high court overturned the landmark 1973 case, which had made abortion legal nationwide, in June, saying that it did not have authority over abortion as a constitutional matter and turned it over to the individual states to decide.
At the time, the NWSL NJ/NY Gotham FC team put out a statement criticizing the ruling.
''NJ/NY Gotham FC vehemently objects to any rollback of Roe v. Wade and believes reproductive rights are human rights,'' the statement said. ''Abortion must not only remain legal, but it must also be made affordable and accessible nationwide.''
The Women's National Basketball Players Association also put out a statement on Twitter in June, calling the court ''out of touch'' with the country ''and any sense of human dignity.''
''This ruling provides a treacherous pathway to abortion bans that reinforce economic, social, and political inequities and could lead to higher rates of maternal mortality while eviscerating rights to reproductive freedom for everyone,'' the statement said. ''To protect democracy, we must vote like our lives depend on it. Because they do.''
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 629,898 abortions were performed in the United States in 2019, resulting in a rate of 11.4 abortions per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44.
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