Between a Woman and Her Athletic Trainer? 

June 30, 2022

We are entering our second week of the “Between a woman and her …” campaign. We’re focusing on “attending health care professionals,” which refers to language from the proposed amendment:

“notwithstanding the above, the state may regulate the provision of abortion care after fetal viability, provided that in no circumstance shall the state prohibit an abortion that, in the professional judgment of an attending health care professional, is medically indicated to protect the life or physical or mental health of the pregnant individual.”

Each week, we are exposing the different kinds of “attending health care professionals” that would be able to refer women to have a late-term abortion under the proposed anything-goes RFFA abortion amendment

According to Michigan law, a healthcare professional does not have to be a physician. This week are we focusing on massage therapists and athletic trainers, who under this amendment could act as OB/GYN. What could go wrong?

Why are pro-abortion leaders like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU pushing this? To maximize the number of abortions and increase their profits. These organizations do not care about women’s health. Healthcare licensing exists to ensure medical care providers are well-trained—your life is literally on the line. The anything-goes abortion amendment would completely trash that system for anything related to pregnancy, not just abortion.

This campaign is taking place on Facebook, Twitter, our blog, and here. Just a reminder, the anything-goes RFFA coalition is currently collecting signatures for their petition. They need 425,059 valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot—which Michiganders will then have to vote on if they want anyone and everyone allowing abortion and referring for abortions. Why focus on massage therapists and athletic trainers this week? Obviously, because those are absurd examples, but also because such scenarios are not just fictional. We have heard many examples of athletes being pressured by their teams to have abortions, and many schools and athletic programs have a trainer or a masseuse on staff to help make sure female athletes aren’t sidelined by an unplanned pregnancy.

Imagine This

Madison’s dreams were fulfilled the day the University of Michigan offered her a scholarship for their soccer team. Not just a scholarship, but a coveted full-ride scholarship. Beyond just paying for her pre-med degree, maybe it was a stepping stone for a professional contract, and ultimately the very top as the goalie on the U.S. women’s national soccer team. No matter what, her future was bright.

That all changed when Madison started feeling sick just before finals. She brushed it off as the constant pressure of being a student-athlete. But after a couple of months and missed periods, she started to fear that guy she met on Spring Break had gotten her pregnant. Being pregnant didn’t change her skill as a goalie or her competitive drive, but a woman who is six months pregnant obviously can’t start the season as the keeper. Madison was extremely conflicted: she didn’t want to have an abortion, but it isn’t even possible to include the father in the picture. She had a plan, and taking a year off of soccer was not in the plan. A few days before practices began, she told her new coach.

Her coach was livid she didn’t tell him earlier, but she was so good that he didn’t want to lose her. What options did he have? Suppose Madison ended up at MSU next season? No, he was just going to ride it out. Besides, he thought he had enough on the roster to still succeed. After a few days of practice, however, it became really clear to him that that incoming freshman behind Madison was not the player he thought he had. This was supposed to be his big shot, to get the program’s first NCAA national title. He has dreams—and he hates losing. He can tell this is a special team already. Madison told him she was conflicted, so maybe he could get her to have an abortion and have her back for an October conference run? Maybe it would all work out.

Coach tried to tell Madison she was risking her future, her dreams of playing for the U.S.A. on ESPN, and her education, but for some reason, he couldn’t sway her. The more he talked, the more conflicted she became. So, he had to do it, it was for her own good, you know? “Madison, if you don’t take care of this problem and don’t play for the team you committed to lead, why should we pay for your tuition here?”

Madison thought she could make a new plan work, but it sounded like both her sports career and her education were on the line now. Resigned to fate, she told the coach she would call her doctor next week. But the coach told her no: the team’s trainer could take care of everything—tomorrow. By the end of the week, she was in the Ann Arbor Planned Parenthood. Nobody asked her if she wanted to be there. She didn’t even have time in the waiting room to think about what was happening. She had to go through with it now: they made her pay upfront, and an abortion at 24 weeks is not cheap. But it would be worth it, right? She didn’t really have the freedom to make a choice in this situation, anyway.