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Women take knee at US national crit championships after Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade

“I felt in my gut that I wanted to do something,” said Heidi Franz, one of the organisers behind the protest

As the United States comes to terms with the Supreme Court’s decision to remove the constitutional right to an abortion, over half of the elite women’s field at the US national crit championships took the knee in protest during the pre-race national anthem.

Coryn Labecki, Kaia Schmid, Heidi Franz and Alexis Ryan were among the riders who took the knee as part of “a moment of solidarity” before the race, which was won by Ryan’s sister, Kendall Ryan.

Around half of the country’s states are expected to ban or severely curtail access to abortion services after the Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade ruling, which granted federal protection for women choosing to terminate a pregnancy.

Tennessee, where the US Pro National Championships are currently being held in Knoxville, is one of several states which has a so-called “trigger law” in place, enabling an abortion ban to take effect within 30 days of the Supreme Court’s ruling.

The decision to take the knee – a form of protest at sporting events popularised by NFL player Colin Kaepernick’s campaign against police racism – before the criterium championships was made by a number of riders in the hours leading up the race.

“I felt in my gut that I wanted to do something, so I reached out to other people to see what their feelings were as well,” InstaFund Racing’s Heidi Franz told VeloNews.

“My teammate Maddy [Ward] had told me that one of the pro men’s racers had reached out to her and asked if we were organizing anything, so then it was like, we should really do something.

“I care a lot about these things, and I care a lot about standing up for ourselves, and standing up for other people,” she said.

Alexis Ryan - Roe v Wade protest, US nationals

“The national championship is a symbol of patriotism,” Alexis Ryan, who announced on Instagram that the protest would take place, said before the race.

“And it’s obviously a really tragic moment for women in this country, what happened today.

“I think as athletes, we are role models to younger women, but we are also role models to the entire world, and I think it’s important for us to speak our minds and make a statement with what we’re doing here.”

Lead image credit: Clara Beard

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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68 comments

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sparrowlegs replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
2 likes

Well it certainly seems you're actually enjoying the fact that you can come up with more and more reasons that lives be taken. So yes, maybe you need to take a step back, take a break from gate keeping so many posts. It must be exhausting. 

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sparrowlegs replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
1 like

Read my post properly. I said abortion should still be available for the right reason. Those reasons could be varied and many, including rape, incest, defects and danger to the mother. But abortion should not be used as a form of contraception. 

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Rendel Harris replied to sparrowlegs | 1 year ago
6 likes

sparrowlegs wrote:

Read my post properly. I said abortion should still be available for the right reason. Those reasons could be varied and many, including rape, incest, defects and danger to the mother. But abortion should not be used as a form of contraception. 

I have read your post properly, and it is clear that you think that everyone who requires an elective abortion other than for the reasons you state has been careless and irresponsible, which entirely disregards the fact that contraception is only 98% effective. 

 

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sparrowlegs replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
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And again, show me the stats in that 640,000 abortions that represents birth control not working.

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EddyBerckx replied to sparrowlegs | 1 year ago
10 likes

sparrowlegs wrote:

Funny how the same people that are saying "hands off my body" were not long ago saying "make vaccines mandatory". 

I don't agree with taking away a birthing persons rights to abortion but in 2019 nearly 640,000 abortions were performed in the US. No way all those pregnancies were from incest or rape or birth defects. 95% or more were elective (I can't remember exactly but it may even be 97%). Meaning they just wanted an abortion because they'd not taken the relevant precautions. Using abortion as a contraceptive is not right. Especially when some states allowed abortion to be done up to 24 weeks. A foetus has a heartbeat at 6 weeks. A genetic code that will never be repeated.

Abortion should still be accessible but a lot of people need to put personal responsibility before pleasure. 

Men talking shit about something they know nothing about should also stop. As is men controlling woman's bodies like we're in the Middle Ages or the handmaids tale

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sparrowlegs replied to EddyBerckx | 1 year ago
2 likes

Men can get pregnant you dinosaur!!!

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Dingaling replied to sparrowlegs | 1 year ago
6 likes

No they can't so stop being a stupid cunt.

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sparrowlegs replied to Dingaling | 1 year ago
0 likes

"No they can't" what? Try to use the "quote" function please. 

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Sriracha replied to EddyBerckx | 1 year ago
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EddyBerckx wrote:

As is men controlling woman's bodies

in so far as abortion is undertaken for reasons related only to women's bodies, you'd have a point.

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ktache replied to sparrowlegs | 1 year ago
2 likes

Didn't the Tory Johnson government more than call for mandatory vaccination, they actually instituted the policy for healthcare workers, first with care workers at old people's homes, causing many to leave the profession? They somewhat encountered more difficulties when pushing it through the NHS, leading to a rollback.

Bloddy left wingers...

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sparrowlegs replied to ktache | 1 year ago
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Sorry, I had no idea that the tories ran America. You learn something new every day. 

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Rendel Harris replied to sparrowlegs | 1 year ago
6 likes

sparrowlegs wrote:

I don't agree with taking away a birthing persons rights to abortion but in 2019 nearly 640,000 abortions were performed in the US. No way all those pregnancies were from incest or rape or birth defects. 95% or more were elective (I can't remember exactly but it may even be 97%). Meaning they just wanted an abortion because they'd not taken the relevant precautions.

That last sentence isn't true, as the "elective" figure includes all abortions where the woman's decision to end the pregnancy was not on medical grounds, so it includes rape and incest cases. It's also not true that all of them "just wanted an abortion because they'd not taken the relevant precautions", everyone knows that contraception is not 100% effective no matter how careful one is. You're peddling the "any woman wanting an abortion must be to blame" narrative one might expect from the person who gave us the "the greatest achievement for any woman is giving birth" line a few months back.

 

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sparrowlegs replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
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No, the 5-3% included rape, incest and I think defects. The 95-97% were elective and didn't include rape or incest.

You're playing in the nuance and minuscule numbers to prove the majority like you always do. Throwing up links to non-binary Vikings to prove no one has a biological sex. 

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Rendel Harris replied to sparrowlegs | 1 year ago
3 likes

sparrowlegs wrote:

You're playing in the nuance and minuscule numbers to prove the majority like you always do. Throwing up links to non-binary Vikings to prove no one has a biological sex. 

You're mixing me up with someone else there, I haven't engaged with you in your transgender debates.

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sparrowlegs replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
1 like

Apologies. It's hard to tell you lot apart. 

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to sparrowlegs | 1 year ago
7 likes

Quote:

Apologies. It's hard to tell you lot apart.

Wow.

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rmv replied to sparrowlegs | 1 year ago
4 likes
sparrowlegs wrote:

in 2019 nearly 640,000 abortions were performed in the US. No way all those pregnancies were from incest or rape or birth defects. 95% or more were elective (I can't remember exactly but it may even be 97%). Meaning they just wanted an abortion because they'd not taken the relevant precautions.

There were over 300,000 rapes and sexual assaults reported America in 2020 and the DoJ estimates that only a third of rapes are reported.

There were 3.6 million babies born last year in America, about 3% that is over a hundred thousand of these have major structural or genetic birth defects. And those are the ones that weren't aborted.

There are more than 72 million women of reproductive age in the United States. 64% of women are in a relationship and 36% are single Roughly 95% of women in a relationship are sexually active and 70% of single women. Which gives us 62 million sexually active women of reproductive age. A condom, even if properly used, has a 2% failure rate, taken over a year and the contraceptive pill has a 1% failure rate. So even if all those women were on the pill and taking it faultlessly there could still be 620,000 pregnancies a year. If they were relying on a condom it would be twice that.

And of course there are good reasons why a woman might not be able to use contraceptives in America. After all, the same people who oppose abortions have managed to get exemptions on the basis of employer's religious beliefs to the federal law that requires medical insurance to pay for contraceptives. Or they could be one of the 31 million people in America who don't have medical insurance for whom the prescription costs are unaffordable.

But yeah, just blame women for being irresponsible. That's probably the reason.

quote=sparrowlegs]

A foetus has a heartbeat at 6 weeks. A genetic code that will never be repeated.

.[/quote]

No it doesn't - it doesn't even have a heart at that stage. A few cells fluttering is not a heartbeat.

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sparrowlegs replied to rmv | 1 year ago
1 like

Am I advocating the total removal of abortion? No. There are cases where it's necessary. It sounds like there could be many cases. I'm willing to and already am changing my view as I read more and more about it. Yes, birth control could fail but in 2019 8% of abortions were carried out on women that had already had 3 or more previous abortions. 11% had already had 2 abortions and 24% had already had one.

What I am saying is some people need to take personal responsibilities seriously before committing an act that could lead to pregnancy.

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Sriracha replied to sparrowlegs | 1 year ago
0 likes

I have to say I am a little confused by all this. For example, this from the BBC's coverage:

Planned Parenthood Association of Utah and the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah have filed a lawsuit against a state law banning all abortions.

Utah is one of the states that moved to immediately ban abortion after Friday's Supreme Court decision.

The lawsuit, filed on Saturday, argues that Utah's abortion ban violates the state's constitution and asks for a restraining order to block it from being enforced.

Utah's so-called "trigger law" bans abortion in the state, expect in rare cases, including verifiable rape or incest and where the mother's life is at risk or if the pregnancy poses a threat of "substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function”.

So the messages are mixed. "...a state law banning all abortions" ... "Utah moved to immediately ban abortion", seems pretty unequivocal. But by the end paragraph it seems Utah will in fact allow abortion, for all/most of the cases people cite in favour of allowing abortion.

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brooksby replied to sparrowlegs | 1 year ago
5 likes

The opinion suggests that the next matters to be reviewed should be male gay sex, all same sex marriages, and the right to contraception.  Someone needs to tell the six conservatives on the Supreme Court that The Handmaid's Tale wasn't intended as an instruction manual...

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Capercaillie replied to sparrowlegs | 1 year ago
1 like

sparrowlegs wrote:

What I am saying is some people need to take personal responsibilities seriously before committing an act that could lead to pregnancy.

In reality though, it's women who end up having to suffer the consequences and make the difficult choices.

Maybe all men who walk away from a pregnant partner and refuse to support them ought to be forced to have a vasectomy so it can't happen again, whether the woman has an abortion or not.

It shouldn't just be a woman's responsiblity to take precautions.

Perhaps all men who've already completed their families ought to have a vasectomy anyway for the sake of the planet, as well as preventing unplanned pregnancies.  It's a much simpler operation than a female sterilisation.  After all men remain fertile and can go on re-populating the planet all their lives if they can get a young partner: eg Mick Jagger, Bernie Ecclestone.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Capercaillie | 1 year ago
4 likes

How many male Republican Politicians and Public representatives who voted against abortion have paid off someone for an abortion? 

But it seems certain people seem to be blaming the woman for not taking responsibilities. 

 

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sparrowlegs replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 1 year ago
0 likes

Define woman!!!

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sparrowlegs replied to Capercaillie | 1 year ago
0 likes

Some good points there. But I will add, and it's not related to this that if a man gets a woman pregnant and doesn't want to be a parent, he doesn't have a choice. Same as if he does want to the the baby, he doesn't have a choice  

As soon as our 2nd popped out I had the snip. So have most of my friends. Personally I wouldn't have had any children if I knew then what I know now.

Unfortunately the ones that seem to be breeding the most are the ones that don't really add anything to society. 

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chrisonabike replied to sparrowlegs | 1 year ago
1 like

Hmm... this has zero to do with bikes and is mostly to do with the US (with which this site seems increasingly focussed).

Your last post is notable for the "stop the wasters reproducing" but that's not my beef here.  It is exactly those facts of nature which means that... er, men always have the choice.  (Possibly the only "facts" which aren't generally disputed in all this - although I'm sure we have a few here who're happy with immaculate conception!)  Those doing the impregnating are literally never left holding the baby.  And normally have might (and often right) on their side.  In almost all societies there are rules, penalties or elaborate cultural systems to balance this.  Clearly some folks in the US (or indeed lots of places) hanker for a return to "the good old days" - too much "uncertainty"?  Doubt they'd be happy to add other people's kids to their brood though?

To return to bikes - you're happy saying to women "You should wear a helmet, in case the (male) drivers don't drive safely (we accept they don't)"?

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sparrowlegs replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
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Sorry Chris, you might have to explain that word salad further. 

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chrisonabike replied to sparrowlegs | 1 year ago
3 likes

If you can't manage a salad I'll not cater to you further - you might burn yourself!

As Capercaillie said, having now read that.

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Rendel Harris replied to sparrowlegs | 1 year ago
3 likes

sparrowlegs wrote:

Unfortunately the ones that seem to be breeding the most are the ones that don't really add anything to society. 

Ah yes, the wrong sort of people are breeding. Mmm. Some chaps in Germany had much the same belief a while back. Didn't end well, as far as I recall.

Just for interest, are you into cycling at all or are you just here for the crack about abortion, trans women and now, seemingly, eugenics?

Fascinating to discover you're a chap. After that astonishing shittake you gave us a couple of months back to the effect that "bearing a child is the greatest thing any woman can achieve" I assumed you must be a woman with a misplaced pride in her reproductive capacities, I thought surely the most whackadoodle alt right evangelical man wouldn't really say something that stupid, reductionist and downright offensive to women, but by golly you stepped up for it. Amazing.

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sparrowlegs replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
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At least I don't revel in the taking of lives Rendel. You compare me to "that german" when you were loving coming up with more reasons to kill unborn children. 

I've not once said revoking RvW is right. What I've said is the termination of life is something that should, if possible, be avoided and that abortion shouldn't be used as contraception. You'd think that was the sane thing to say but no, not when Renny and his lot are about. Death to anything that hasn't been spawned yet. But why stop at that eh? Using your logic as long as you gave birth to it you can get rid of it eh?

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to sparrowlegs | 1 year ago
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