After the Supreme Court overturned abortion rights, US soccer player Megan Rapinoe is again the mouthpiece of many people.
She wasn’t scheduled for the US soccer women’s press conference, but suddenly Megan Rapinoe was sitting in front of the advertising board.
“I wish we could just talk about football today,” said the 36-year-old in greeting, but the sport took a back seat. “The Roe v Wade verdict takes precedence over anything else,” said the forward firmly. It was the start of a long angry speech by a desperate woman.
The US Supreme Court has overturned the nationwide right to abortion. The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision allowed women to have abortions up to about 24 weeks gestation. This has now been rejected by the Supreme Court, and the individual US states are now making their own decisions. Protection for women – no longer guaranteed.
“It’s sad and cruel,” said the former world footballer Rapinoe, who again acted as the mouthpiece of many people. A mix of disappointment, sadness and anger spoke out of her, and the headlights were reflected in the tears in her eyes.
Rapinoe is an active advocate for human rights, and last year she and 499 other US athletes signed a letter in support of abortion rights. Now the Olympic champion fears the consequences of the new verdict.
“It’s going to exacerbate so many of the existing inequalities in our country,” she said. The decision does not make “a single child safer, certainly not. And it doesn’t make a single woman safer, not even in terms of pregnancy.”
At the end of her almost nine-minute speech, Rapinoe appealed to everyone’s “compassion” and “humanity”: Everyone should understand, she emphasized, “that just because I believe in something doesn’t mean that everyone else has to do it too”.