WNBA team becomes the first professional sports franchise to publicly support Planned Parenthood.
The Seattle Storm announced Thursday a first-of-its kind partnership with Planned Parenthood.
The team’s ownership group Force 10 Hoops is organizing a “Stand with Planned Parenthood” rally at KeyArena’s West Plaza before its July 18 game against the Chicago Sky.
For every ticket purchased, the Storm will donate $5 to Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands (PPGNHI). The team will also organize fundraising events, including an online auction to support the chapter.
In a statement released by the Storm, Dawn Trudeau, one of team’s three female owners, said “the essential services provided by Planned Parenthood make the organization a natural ally and partner for the Storm.”
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Planned Parenthood, which provides reproductive health care, has been targeted by Republican lawmakers who want to defund the nonprofit organization.
“As individual Americans who are not legislators, merely citizens, we have felt hamstrung by our limited ability to make a meaningful impact in the national health care debate,” Trudeau said. “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.”
Planned Parenthood has never received public support from a professional sports team, said Christine Charbonneau, CEO of PPGNHI.
“We are proud to work alongside the Storm and their efforts in leveling the playing field for women and girls,” Charbonneau said. “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.”
Esther Hurni-Ripplinger of Human Life of Washington told KIRO 7: “If Seattle Storm wants to give to the No. 1 abortion provider in the country they are free to give.
“I am concerned for fans who want to attend, but who may be opposed to this cause. Are they welcome? How are they going to opt out or are they being forced?”