On Wednesday, State Rep. Jena Powell’s (R-Arcanum) “Save Women’s Sports Act” legislation passed in the House Higher Education Committee. The bill ensures that biological males cannot compete in female-only sports in Ohio.
“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 said.
Powell has noted that female athletes are currently losing opportunities due to discriminatory policies that allow biological males to compete in girls’ sports. For example, 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 added. “That opportunity is being ripped from them by biological males.”
Powell also has made the point that Title IX was enacted at the federal level in recognition 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.
Women across the United States, including swimmer Riley Gaines, have started speaking out about the injustices they’ve experienced when biological men have stolen their opportunities in female sports competitions. “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 legislatures have passed and enacted their versions of the Save Women’s Sports Act bill.
The legislation passed twice in the House during the previous General Assembly and now awaits further consideration in the House chamber.