Remember the time NBA player JJ Redick forced his mistress to sign an “abortion contract” — and no one really cared?

Ashley Herzog
7 min readDec 1, 2021

In the spring of 2013, I was 27 years old and raising a baby in a two-bedroom, $700 a month apartment. I had almost a decade of political blogging and commentary under my belt — for which I was rarely paid, even by media behemoths like I had to expand my writing horizons in order to supplement my husband’s modest income as an attorney fresh out of law school. It was time to stop writing for free. I took some well-compensated assignments for gun magazines, as well as periodicals focused on hunting and hiking. I also started blogging for Live Action, the pro-life media outlet infamous for its undercover reporting on Planned Parenthood. Say what you will about Live Action, but at least they pay their writers. I also had an outlet to express my strong, yet conflicted, feelings on the abortion issue. I was a young woman who, at barely 25, found myself pregnant and single and refused to “do the responsible thing.” I had my baby. However, the mistreatment I experienced throughout my pregnancy, complete with job discrimination and judgmental doctors, made it into a hellish experience. My viewpoint, at the end of it all, was, “It’s great when a woman follows her heart and ‘chooses life,’ but let’s not pretend it’s all sunshine and roses.” Frankly, I often doubted the sincerity of the anti-abortion side. I blanched at the idea of forcing this experience on another woman via the long arm of the law.

At Live Action, I took special interest in the stories of women who were pressured to abort against their will. And that’s when I received an email from a woman named Vanessa Lopez who told me she had been pregnant with NBA star JJ Redick’s child. He insisted she abort her child, even making her sign a humiliating “abortion contract” to discourage any second thoughts. She wasn’t famous. She was also a woman of color.

As I looked over the documents Vanessa sent to me, I couldn’t help feeling outraged for her. 2013 was the year professional sports started going “woke.” Yet nobody care what JJ Redick — a clean-cut, handsome, All-American athlete in the fans’ eyes — had done to this woman. I was also touched she reached out to me, although I warned her that Reddick’s star status would virtually guarantee both…

Ashley Herzog

New account. I’m still a professional journalist, novelist, and radio host. And Catherine’s mom.