SEATTLE, Wash. — A chapter of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) has decided to partner with the abortion and contraception giant Planned Parenthood by hosting a pre-game rally and donating a portion of the game’s ticket sales to the organization.
“Access to affordable, quality health care, including a full range of reproductive care, is a critical precondition for anyone — especially girls and women, to pursue their dreams and grow into their best selves,” Seattle Storm Co-owner Dawn Trudeau of Force 10 Hoops said in a press release. “The essential services provided by Planned Parenthood make the organization a natural ally and partner for the Storm.”
Force 10 Hoops has organized a “Stand with Planned Parenthood” rally on July 18, which will take place prior to the Storms’ game against the Chicago Sky at the KeyArena West Plaza. $5 of every ticket sold for the Chicago Sky game will be donated to Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands (PPGNHI).
The group will also host an online auction next month to raise money for the organization.
According to the outlet Think Progress, Trudeau, as well as co-owners Lisa Brummel and Ginny Gilder, approached the Planned Parenthood chapter to inquire how the two organizations could partner with one another.
“We are proud to work alongside the Storm and their efforts in leveling the playing field for women and girls,” Christine Charbonneau, CEO of PPGNHI, told the Seattle Times. “Right now, we are seeing a relentless effort to roll back progress for women. Being in this fight alongside our supporters and the Storm is an honor.”
However, some find the development to be troubling.
“Another sports organization wading into political waters,” 4 Winds Christian Athletics President Steve McConkey remarked in a statement. “This time, the WNBA will support the top abortion provider in the United States. The Bible is clear that abortion is murder. This is the first time in sports that a team will support murder.”
Trudeau said that she was aware that some would oppose the move, but chose to move forward anyway.
“We considered the blowback,” she said. “This is something that we have been very thoughtful about doing. We’re doing this to help make sure that all women and girls have access to health care.”
As previously reported, Planned Parenthood’s newly-released annual report shows that the number of abortions performed by the organization last year was the highest since 2011, while the number of women using Planned Parenthood’s services in general continues to be the lowest in a decade.
The group’s tally showed that Planned Parenthood performed 328,348 abortions during the 2015-2016 fiscal year, and 2.8 million people were provided with contraceptives or other forms of birth control, down nearly one million from 2012 (2.9 million in 2014, 3.5 million in 2013 and 3.7 million in 2012).
Only 9,419 women obtained prenatal care as many Planned Parenthood locations do not offer the service, and just 2,073 mothers obtained miscarriage care. Only 2,024 adoption referrals were provided compared to the 328,348 abortions performed.
While the provision of contraceptives was down and abortion was up, the organization’s taxpayer funding was also up to $554 million from $553 million the year before, and $528 million in 2013, which equated to 41 percent of its total income. It also received $257 million in private contributions.
$45 million of Planned Parenthood’s income was used for sex education—down three million from the year prior—and $38 million was used for public policy, or to influence the nation’s laws. Despite its expenditures, it still garnered a $77 million dollar profit, labeled as “excess of revenue,” up from $58 million in 2014.