The Seattle Storm announced Thursday that they will be supporting Planned Parenthood during a home game against the Chicago Sky on July 18 (ESPN2, 9 p.m. ET). The scope of support includes fundraising and a pregame rally at KeyArena.
"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," Storm co-owner Dawn Trudeau said in a statement. "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."
The partnership benefits Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands (PPGNHI), which offers reproductive health care services at 18 health centers throughout Western Washington.
"We are thrilled about this first-of-its-kind partnership," said Christine Charbonneau, CEO of PPGNHI. "The Seattle Storm owners made a decision to publicly support Planned Parenthood, making them the first professional sports team to make their voice heard and their stance known."
Five dollars from the sale of each ticket to Sunday's game will be donated to Planned Parenthood. The Storm will also host an online auction, which will include game-worn shoes from Storm players along with other items.
"Planned Parenthood has not only touched our own lives and those of our friends and families, but has provided vital services to so many in our extended community," Trudeau said. "As a result, many have enjoyed the freedom to chart the course of their own lives in directions that may not otherwise have been possible. We want that freedom for all girls and women across the country. That's why we are standing up for Planned Parenthood. We invite you to join us."
Owned by Force 10 Hoops, the Seattle Storm are one of six independently owned teams in the WNBA.