The passage of Title IX shepherded in a new generation of opportunities, equality, and fairness for female athletes nationwide. Since its codification in 1972, female participation in athletics – at both the high school and collegiate levels – has skyrocketed. According to the National Collegiate Athletics Association, fewer than 30,000 college athletes were women in 1972, and now, over fifty years later, more than 218,000 college athletes are women. High school athletics also experienced the same growth. Based on calculations by the National Federation of State High School Associations, more than 3.4 million American girls play high school sports today; a roughly 1,000% increase from the 300,000 girls who played high school sports in 1972.
Regrettably, the progress we’ve made the last five decades could all be reversed if President Biden has his way. Earlier this month, the Biden Administration proposed a new rule through the Department of Education that would expand the scope of Title IX, allowing transgender athletes to compete against biological women and girls. It would also federalize this issue, forcing states like Iowa – where we uplift our female athletes – to comply with President Biden’s ridiculous, unscientific mandates. This charade completely dismisses the millions of American women and girls who have set records, competed at the highest levels, and smashed through the glass ceiling because of their hard work, dedication, and commitment.
Fortunately, House Republicans stepped up to the plate last week and passed our Protection of Women and Girls Sports Act, which requires school athletic programs – that receive taxpayer dollars – to fully comply with Title IX protections for women and girls, including recognizing individuals’ gender at birth for athletic purposes. At its core, this important legislation preserves fairness in sports and defends our daughters and granddaughters from shameful attempts to destroy their opportunities and diminish their achievements. Just like Governor Reynolds’ decisive work to protect women’s sports in Iowa, I am proud to join my Republican colleagues at the federal level to protect women and girls in every sport in every community across our country.
For Iowans, it is common sense that men should compete against men and women should compete against women in sports. Sadly, this concept is lost on many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle in Congress. As a father of two daughters who have played high school sports, I will continue to advocate for fairness and opportunity for all women and girls and ensure that they can compete on a level playing field. They deserve nothing less.
We are government together, and your thoughts and opinions matter to me. Please contact my office at Feenstra.House.Gov or by phone at 202-225-4426 if I can ever be of assistance. I am proud to represent our families, farmers, main street businesses, and rural communities in Congress.