WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, on Wednesday spoke in support of, H.R. 734, The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act – which she cosponsors and the House passed last week – on the Senate floor.
Read her full remarks below or watch the video of her speech above:
“Iowa has a celebrated history of exceptional girls’ sports programs.
“We recently saw the Iowa Hawkeyes’ women’s basketball team make it to the national championship, after taking home their fifth Big Ten Tournament title just days after cheering on the high school girls competing in the state tournament.
“Last year, the Iowa High School Girls Athletic Union proudly sanctioned girls wrestling, opening up new opportunities for girls to be part of a team and recognized for their achievements.
“Title IX not only makes these events possible, it guarantees an opportunity for our female athletes.
“Whether it’s growing as a leader, winning a championship, or securing a scholarship to college, sports open doors for young girls.
“But right now, President Biden is working overtime to force institutions to allow biological males to share spaces with females and compete in women’s sports.
“Doors that were opened over 50 years ago are being slammed in the faces of girls across the country because of the progressive left’s gender ideology.
“Girls’ locker rooms have now become a battleground for the Democratic Party, and parents continue to be iced out of this issue.
“Thankfully, last year, Governor Reynolds protected girls’ sports across Iowa, from elementary school all the way up to the collegiate level.
“Here in the Senate, I’m proud to join my friend from Alabama and our colleagues in supporting The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act.
“Under this legislation, any athletic program that receives federal funds and permits a biological male to participate in competitions designated for women or girls would be in violation of federal law.
“The House just passed this commonsense bill last week, and we should not waste any more time in passing it here in the Senate.
“Payton McNabb is a senior in high school. She loves volleyball, but was severely injured last fall because a biological male spiked the ball into her face.
“Riley Gaines Barker, a 12-time NCAA All-American athlete, was forced to compete against a biological male – Lia Thomas – in the 200 freestyle. The two tied for 5th place, with Thomas taking home the trophy…no kidding, the NCAA told Riley it was necessary for photo purposes.
“Lia Thomas is a 6’4” biological male who swam on the men’s team at the University of Pennsylvania for three years before switching to the women’s team for his final year.
“Thomas beat female 2020 Olympic silver medalists and American record-holders to win an NCAA Division 1 Title.
“Man, you might feel like a woman, but you aren’t one. We must protect our young girls and make sure they aren’t pushed off the podium.
“Title IX is the law of the land, whether the far left likes it or not.
“The law was created to offer the same playing field to female athletes as their male counterparts — not to subject women to second place and the sidelines.
“In defense of our Iowa daughters and female athletes across the nation, I stand with Riley Gaines – who was recently attacked by radical activists on a college campus – and her message: biological men should not be allowed to compete in women’s sports.
“Our female athletes deserve fairness, safety, and the ability to win top scholarships and titles.
“No amount of harassment from the radical Left will stop strong women from standing up for the truth and what is right.
“If Senate Democrats pushing the so-called ‘Equal Rights Amendment’ were reallyinterested in equal rights for women, they would protect women’s sports and spaces from biological men.
“Every time a girl steps onto the mat, court, field, or track she should know she has everyopportunity to compete and win.
“I’m proud to work with my friend, Senator Tuberville, in fighting to pass The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act.”