Billie Jean King shares the painful story of abortion amidst the debate

Billie Jean King, the tennis legend who shared her painful journey to abortion in her memoir “All In,” has joined other athletes in calling for the protection of women’s reproductive rights.

A draft of a majority opinion of the Supreme Court abolishing the right to abortion codified in the historic Roe vs. Wade was published Monday night by Politico, eliciting responses from activists across the county. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. confirmed the authenticity of the document that could still change when the judges ruled, with an official ruling expected to be delivered in two months.

King, a native of Long Beach, has joined a chorus of athletes who have opposed the potential erosion of reproductive guards.

“Since then a woman has had the right to make decisions about her body #RoeVWade in 1973 “, King posted on Twitter. “If Roe falls, millions of Americans would lose access to critical reproductive care. It is imperative that we do everything possible to protect this legislation.”

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova also vented on Twitter, posting“Also a worthy reminder aside [Justice Amy] Coney Barrett, all the men they take away [women’s] the rights of choice are well beyond the age at which women could actually become pregnant. So once again – older, mostly white men are making up their minds [women’s] destiny I hate everything … “

Natasha McCloud of Washington Mystics wrote on her Twitter account: “The constitution was written by white men. For whites “.

She added, “America is NOT pro-life. They are by birth. We still pay women less than men. Not all women have access to health care. We don’t focus on repairing and building our education system. housing…. disgusting. “

King’s position was shaped by his California abortion experience prior to the Roe vs. Wade. during a Los Angeles Times Book Club Interviewdiscussed the decision.

“I got pregnant and I was so confused and in such an ugly way, and I think a baby is the most important responsibility in the world and I just didn’t feel like it … I just couldn’t do it,” she said, noticing that she had. already filed for divorce from her husband and shared with him that she was attracted to other women. Her husband, whom he said he loved and often called her best friend, refused to grant a divorce.

In his memoirs, King wrote of California’s policy of allowing abortions before Roe vs. Wade if they had been for therapeutic reasons and had been performed in a hospital. Her husband Larry joined her in explaining to a committee why he needed the procedure.

“Any woman wishing to have an abortion first had to go before a medical committee and explain why she believed her pregnancy would ‘severely compromise’ her ‘physical or mental health,’” wrote King. “So that’s what I had to do. Explaining to a jury of ten or fifteen strangers why I qualified for an abortion was probably the most degrading thing I’ve ever experienced. When Larry and I walked into the room and saw them looking back, Larry whispered to me, ‘This is ridiculous.’ “

King is now among the many athletes lobbying for support for abortion rights.

Nneka Ogwumike of the Sparks and USC swimmer Lauren Blair joined Megan Rapinoe, Sue Byrd and more than 500 other current and former high school, college and professional athletes who signed an amicus letter in support of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the defendant in the case that the Supreme Court is now considering that it could quash Roe vs. Wade.