Press Conference Speech given on 2.25.20 by Rep. Jena Powell
The Save Women’s Sports Act is about fairness for women in female sports.
With me on stage are several high school female athletes from my district, the bill’s joint sponsor Representative Reggie Stoltzfus and Rachel Citak (legal counsel for CCV).
The Save Women’s Sports Act is a fairness issue for women to be able to achieve their dream in athletics in our state, and is crucial to preserving women’s rights, and the integrity of women’s and girls’ sports.
Across our country, Female athletes are being robbed of athletic opportunities, dreams of competing at the next level, and even potential scholarships to biological males competing in girls’ sports.
Chelsea Mitchell is one of the top female sprinters in Connecticut. But she has been denied the title of state champion four times because the CIAC has allowed male athletes to compete as girls. Last year, she had the unexpected opportunity to compete on a more level playing field after a male athlete was disqualified for a false start. Chelsea went on to win the state championship and the New England Regional Championships in that event.
In Connecticut, nine different girls used to hold the 15 women’s state championship titles. Those 15 titles are now all held by two different biological males.
Girls want the chance to play and win by the rules in the sports that they love. That opportunity is being ripped from them by biological males competing in their sport.
The Save Women’s Sports Act will require schools that are a part of the Ohio High School Athletic Association to designate separate teams for participants of the biological female sex. No school, interscholastic conference, or organization that regulates interscholastic athletics shall permit biological males to participate on an athletic team or in an athletic competition designated only for biological female participants.
We want everyone in the state of Ohio to be able to compete on an even playing field. The beauty of this bill is that we are including everyone in sports, and upholding the integrity of women’s sports.
The reason we have women’s sports divisions is because biological males have physical and biological advantages over girls. 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.
Because of this, Title IX was a federal law enacted precisely for the purpose of ensuring equal opportunity for women and girls to compete in interscholastic sports.
Discriminatory policies violate Title IX and deny girls educational and athletic opportunities. Allowing biological males to compete against biological females is a discriminatory policy that turns back the clock over half-a-century on advances we have made for women.
I am passionate about this issue because we cannot allow girls’ dreams of being a gold medal athlete be crushed by biological males stealing their opportunities.
The Save Women’s Sports Act is a fairness issue for women. This bill ensures that every little girl who works hard to make it on a podium is not robbed of her chance by a biological male competing against her in a female sport. We want every little girl to achieve her athletic dream here in the state of Ohio. The Saves women sports act ensures that happens.
State Representative Jena Powell is currently serving her first term as a state representative. She represents the 80th Ohio House District, which encompasses Miami County and a portion of Darke County. For more information, contact Rep Powell’s office at 614-466-8114 or Rep80@ohiohouse.gov.