Republican lawmakers in Ohio have advanced a bill banning biological males from women’s and girls’ sports.
The “Save Women’s Sports Act” passed the state’s House Higher Education Committee on Wednesday and will now move to the House of Representatives for a vote.
State Rep. Jena Powell, who introduced the bill, said in a statement that “the Save Women’s Sports Act is a fairness issue for women to be able to achieve their dreams in athletics in our state, and is crucial to preserving women’s rights, and the integrity of women’s and girls’ sports.”
Powell explained that policies allowing transgender males to compete against girls is discriminatory and costing females opportunities. She noted that “in Connecticut, nine different girls used to hold the 15 women’s state championship titles. In 2020, those 15 titles were all held by two different biological males.”
“All that girls are asking for is a fair shot, and to be given the chance to play and win by the rules in the sports that they love,” Powell continued. “That opportunity is being ripped from them by biological males.”
Additionally, Powell explained that Title IX was enacted federally to recognize that biological males possess many physiological advantages over females, “including greater lung capacity, larger hearts, higher red blood cell counts, stronger tendons and ligaments, greater muscle strength, and increased bone density.”
Powell’s statement quoted swimmer Riley Gaines, an outspoken advocate for protecting women’s sports.
“I thought surely there would be someone, whether that be a coach, or another swimmer, or someone within the NCAA, I thought surely someone would stick up for us,” Gaines said. “That’s when I realized it’s my duty as a female athlete who experienced this injustice to really use my voice and my platform to advocate for those female athletes who are emotionally blackmailed and gaslit into silence.”
Nationwide, 21 states have passed and enacted various versions of the Save Women’s Sports Act bill.