The NWSL plans to add two more teams by 2024.
One of the factors it will examine: state abortion laws.
The league is “currently analyzing” the evolution of state abortion laws for both existing and future host cities, commissioner Jessica Berman said on the heels of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
The league will consider “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,” Berman said.
“Certainly in the context of expansion, that would be part of the analysis.”
The Supreme Court’s decision — which opens a pathway for state laws to implement strict abortion bans — will have a major impact on women’s sports, according to an amicus brief filed in the case.
Without the right to choose, participation in women’s sports would decline. Anyone who could become pregnant may lose indirect benefits of sports, from leadership skills to college scholarships. The careers of elite athletes who could become pregnant would be threatened.
The decision also advances a cultural movement that could threaten the tenets of Title IX — the law that has undergirded success for most women’s sports in the United States.