Los Angeles Sparks power forward Nneka Ogwumike is calling for the WNBA to center reproductive health for her fellow athletes around the league. With a WNBA championship, MVP award, Rookie of the Year honour, and six All-Star appearances, Ogwumike has shown her prowess on the court.
But as president of the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA), Ogwumike helped negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement that makes all “veteran players will be eligible for up to $60,000 in reimbursed expenses related to adoption, surrogacy, oocyte cryopreservation or fertility/infertility treatment.”
Nneka Ogwumike Speaks On The Need Fertility Support
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In an Instagram video posted on Oct. 7, 2020, Nneka Ogwumike revealed her next step in her cause – giving each WNBA player a Modern Fertility Hormone Test.
“2021 has been the year of women pro athletes coming forward about the importance of our personal health and our rights — whether that’s our mental or reproductive health. As women, we simply don’t have time to not uplift ourselves — and each other,” she wrote in the caption. “As President of the league’s player’s association, I’m offering every single WNBA player a Modern Fertility Hormone Test, so we can all understand our fertility on our own terms and make the best decisions for ourselves.”
Ogwumike is literally changing the conversation around women athletes and their reproductive health. Tired of the usual talk of women athlete’s bodies, the 10-year WNBA veteran wants to give the women themselves power over their own maternal health and decisions.
“As athletes, the conversation has changed,” she says in the video. “It started and ended with, ‘You’ll have your kids when you’re done.’ And that’s never sat well with me, especially as women who perform at such high levels . . . these phenomenal women who do so much to make sure their bodies are ready to play and also that their bodies are ready to build a life.”