On Thursday, the 50th anniversary of Title IX was celebrated. Experts agreed in conversations with Front Office Sports, however, that women’s rights were under attack in other aspects of society — so the anniversary should be treated as a warning signal. That attitude couldn’t have been more prescient.
One day later, the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. In its majority opinion, the court found that the constitution “does not protect the right to an abortion.” Stripping a fundamental right from more than half the U.S. population will also have a devastating impact on women in sports. In September, a group of 500 current and former women’s sports athletes — including soccer star Megan Rapinoe, Oregon basketball player Sedona Prince, and WNBA star Brittney Griner — submitted a brief in the case at issue to the Supreme Court. The athletes “are united in their deeply-held belief that women’s athletics could not have reached its current level of participation and success without the constitutional rights recognized in Roe v. Wade … and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey,” the brief read. Title IX goes hand-in-hand with Roe and Casey. All three were codified within two years of each other. “Without Roe’s constitutional protection of women’s bodily integrity and decisional autonomy, women would not have been able to take advantage of Title IX and achieve the tremendous level of athletic participation and success that they enjoy today,” the brief said.
Without the right to choose, the brief affirmed that overall participation in women’s sports would decline.
At the elite level, from …