On the very first day of his presidency, Joe Biden took one giant leap backward for women’s rights when he issued an executive order forcing schools to allow student athletes to compete in sports based on their gender identity instead of their biological sex.
To put it simply, he made it possible for genetic boys to compete against girls.
Often the pinnacle of so many girls’ athletics experiences in high school is the state competitions toward the end of each season.
Take for instance the yearly state track meet in Kansas, where hundreds of girls compete against each other to be the best in their event. They’ve trained most of their life for this moment: they’ve woken up at dawn to weight train, worked on technique refinement for hours on end, and run miles upon miles for endurance training.
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Now that President Biden’s executive order is in place, imagine that very athlete looking at the lane to her left and seeing a genetic boy lined up next to her.
Unfortunately, we’ve already seen this scenario play out on the state level. In Connecticut, at the 2019 Connecticut Indoor Track & Field State Championships a young girl by the name of Selina Soule missed out on competing in the New England Regional Championships when two genetic boys were allowed to compete against girls. As a result, Soule finished outside of the threshold needed to advance and in turn, was deprived of a shot at winning and possible exposure to college scouts and scholarship opportunities.
As an OBGYN, who has raised a daughter and coached countless girls in various sports, I have always stepped up for women and always fought to make sure they get an equal opportunity. I find it unfair and quite frankly un-American that this new administration is allowing biological boys to compete against biological girls in sports.
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Growing up, sports taught me that there was a level playing field and that we all had equal opportunity to compete and win. Letting biological boys compete in biological girls’ high school and college sports is not equal, it doesn’t level the playing field, and it’s certainly not fair.
The fastest female sprinter in the world has a lifetime record of 49.26 seconds for the 400-meter run. In 2018, nearly 300 high-school boys in the U.S. alone recorded faster times. Does that seem fair to our daughters and granddaughters? And, if one takes into account hormone therapy, the playing field still isn’t leveled. A recent study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that even after two years of hormone therapy, biological boys still maintain significant advantages over girls, including being 12% faster on the 1.5-mile run.
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This year we will celebrate the 49th anniversary of Title IX, which expanded civil rights for women and created opportunities for female athletes to compete. We should be focused on defending women’s rights – specifically women’s athletics – and not halting progress on historical efforts over the past half-century that made it possible for girls to have equal opportunities as boys when it comes to sports.
For these reasons, I have joined my colleagues to introduce The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, legislation to protect athletic opportunities for female athletes. Our bill would remove the Title IX funding for schools that allow genetic boys to compete against girls.
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Additionally, for a number of reasons, I voted against President Biden’s nominee, Miguel Cardona, to be U.S. secretary of education. At a recent hearing, I asked him about the issue and he was unwilling to provide alternatives or confirm he would not allow genetic boys to compete against girls in sports. It gives me great pause that this is the person President Biden is entrusting our kids with.
Regardless of sex, everyone should have access to opportunity and the ability to find their happiness. While those who are transgender are entitled to their rights, so too are girls who are just looking for an opportunity to compete against their peers, the genetically female ones.
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What I learned in sports that was so important in my upbringing was there was a level playing field. That we all had equal opportunity to compete and win. And that if you work hard, stick with it and play fair, you’ll be rewarded.
There is nothing fair about President Biden’s executive order. It shows no common sense and will bring about the destruction of women’s sports.