Ethical Issues Surrounding Female Athlete Reproductive Rights in a Digital Age


This paper discusses a current research project which examines the ethical ambiguities of menstrual tracking in women’s sports today. Since the ruling of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022) and the consequent overturning of Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) in the US, debates surrounding menstrual health tracking for athletes have arisen, specifically due to the fear that this health data could be subpoenaed by the US Supreme Court and used against athletes who seek abortions (Blanco 2022). Research suggests that menstrual tracking of female athletes presents potential risks to ‘women’s autonomy, privacy, and safety in sport’ (Casto 2022, 1725). At present, philosophical and ethical insights into female athletes’ reproductive rights are particularly under-researched, and this project seeks to combine novel research in the female-specific sport sciences with present ethical debates in the philosophy of sports. By utilising feminist philosophies by the likes of Beauvoir (2011) and Young (2014), this study considers what constitutes reproductive rights for female athletes in Western societies, discussing feminist ethical issues of autonomy and privacy in a digital era.


Olivia R. Howe
PhD Student, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Charles University, Prague, Praha, Hlavní mesto, Czech Republic


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Sport and Health


Medical Ethics, Privacy, Healthcare, Feminism, Reproductive Rights

Digital Media


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