Female athletes reveal they are pressured to have an abortion just to remain in competition.
Live Action News reported that a number of female athletes have disclosed the pressures they experience in having abortion to maintain their career.
"A number of female high-profile athletes have spoken out about being pressured into abortion in order to continue competing," Live Action News tweeted on Thursday.
This data comes from an investigation undertaken by the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) on hundreds of school athletes and administrators in the United States. The investigation showed that schools actually have a policy that "essentially forced vulnerable women into abortion clinics" who felt they "had no choice" since they would be removed from their teams.
A particular case involved South Carolina's Clemson University that had seven athletes undergo an abortion out of fear of losing "their corresponding financial support" and of "losing their places in their sports teams." One of the said students relayed to ESPN that she was asked to sign a document that says her money grant would be modified if she was found to be pregnant.
"Pregnancy resulting in the inability to compete and positively contribute to the program's success will result in the modification of your grant-in-aid money", the document said.
The student also disclosed having a second abortion since she was warned of losing her scholarship by the university's administrator.
Besides the said South Carolina University, a similar situation is also happening in the University of Memphis. Cassandra Harding, one of the school's athletes, admitted attempting to have an abortion to retain her university scholarship. Harding was not able to push through with the abortion for she was beyond the legal abortion limit being four months pregnant.
Harding disclosed that she similarly signed a document, particularly a policy, that states being pregnant is a violation of her scholarship that would cause her "immediate dismissal and nonrenewal of scholarship." Harding lost her scholarship after her coaches learned she was pregnant.
Olympian Sanya Richards-Ross similarly revealed in her new book, "Chasing Grace: What The Quarter Mile Has Taught Me About God And Life," her own experience of being pressured into an abortion a day before the Beijing 2008 Olympics. Richards-Ross said "her feelings of shame, guilt, and unworthiness" caused her to lose the gold and end up third place for the track and field.
"I knew I was at a crossroads. Everything I ever wanted seemed to be within reach. The culmination of a lifetime of work was right before me. In that moment, it seemed like no choice at all," Richards-Ross said.
"All of the crying leading up to that moment had left me so numb that I barely remember the cold instruments as they brushed against my skin," she added.
"I made a decision that broke me," she stressed.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated Now, the Olympian revealed that almost all those she know in the field have had an abortion. Richards-Ross shared that a major factor influencing women athletes into having an abortion is misinformation that "that pregnancy is impossible for women athletes who have lost their menstrual cycles due to intense exercise."
"I literally don't know another female track athlete who hasn't had an abortion...and that's sad," Richards-Ross divulged
Last September, 500 female athletes filed an amicus brief to the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization case that will be reviewed by the United States Supreme Court in December. The athletes contested that banning abortion for 15 weeks beyond would destroy their career and economic future.
"Athletic prowess depends on bodily integrity. This reality is magnified for women athletes for whom childbearing age coincides with their competitive peak in athletics. If the State compelled women athletes to carry pregnancies to term and give birth, it could derail women's athletic careers, academic futures, and economic livelihoods at a large scale," the athletes said in the brief.
A statement Students for Life of America's Christina Pirrotta contested. Pirrotta is from the University of Chicago and has created "Pregnant on Campus Bill of Rights" to correct the misinformation among women that having pregnancies leave them no choice but to have an abortion since it seemed to end their future. Pirrotta is an athlete herself being a part of the football team of her university.
"I think women who have unplanned pregnancies are in a very difficult spot because at least in the current moment it may seem like so much is ending," Pirrotta said.
In an interview with VerilyMag, Pirrotta commented on Brianna McNeal's decision of choosing abortion. She pointed out that female athletes have an option aside from having an abortion.
"I know as an athlete that so much of our identity is centered around the sport we play and we have so many ambitions and hopes for what we can do. While I know the timing for her pregnancy wasn't ideal, I believe that (Brianna) McNeal would have still found her way in life-as a mother and as an athlete," Pirrotta underscored.