Gauff disappointed by U.S. Supreme Court move to overturn Roe v. Wade

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Tennis - WTA 500 - bett1 Open - Berlin, Germany - June 18, 2022 Coco Gauff of the U.S. in action during her semi final match against Tunisia's Ons Jabeur REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

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LONDON, June 25 (Reuters) - American Coco Gauff said she was disappointed by the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that recognised women's constitutional right to abortion, urging people on Saturday to use their voice and not feel discouraged.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday overturned the landmark ruling, a decision condemned by President Joe Biden that will change life for millions of women in America and exacerbate growing tensions in a deeply polarised country. read more

"I'm obviously disappointed about the decision made," the 18-year-old Gauff told reporters in London at her pre-Wimbledon news conference.

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"I feel bad for future women and women now, but I also feel bad for those who protested for this, I don't even know how many years ago, but protested for this, are alive to see that decision to be reversed.

"I just think that history is repeating itself ... at least from my reading, researching, because I do like history, I feel like just having this decision reversed, we're almost going backwards."

Gauff has previously used her platform to draw attention to various issues and had appealed for an end to gun violence in the U.S. after she beat Italian Martina Trevisan to reach the French Open final last month.

In a message written on an on-court camera at the end of the match, she wrote "Peace End Gun Violence" followed by a heart. read more

Gauff also voiced her opposition to a bill in her home state of Florida that would prohibit classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity for many young students. read more

In 2020, she appeared at a protest in Delray Beach calling for racial and social justice after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man killed in police custody in the U.S.

"Not only does (Friday's) decision kind of mark regarding reproductive rights, it also puts a lead-way into maybe reversing other things that we worked -- I wouldn't say me personally -- but people in the past worked so hard to reverse," Gauff said.

"But I still want to encourage people to use their voice and not feel too discouraged about this because we can definitely make a change, and hopefully change will happen."

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Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris

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