UPDATED 9:19 AM PT – Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Conservative women are taking strides in their effort to preserve Title IX protections for female athletes.
During a press conference on Monday, Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem announced she’s launching a national coalition of stakeholders, which will protect women from being forced to compete with biological males in school sports.
This comes amid anticipation of legal backlash as the state passes a bill to counter Joe Biden’s executive order allowing transgender athletes to compete with whatever gender they identify with.
Noem stressed that while she also wants to challenge the Democrat’s policy, she’s not signing House Bill 1217 just yet. She then described it as a “trial lawyer’s dream.”
“So we could pass a law, then we could get punished, then we could face expensive litigation at taxpayer expense and then we could lose,” stated the governor. “We’d have nothing but a participation trophy to show for it or we could take a different path entirely.”
Defend Title IX Now. https://t.co/cPDZGSG1p6
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) March 22, 2021
Noem has called on supporters to “commit to working together” in the coalition, adding at least two other governors and numerous female students athletes are on board with more expected to join.
“Once we have enough states on board, a coalition brought big enough where the NCAA cannot possibly punish us all, then we can guarantee fairness at the collegiate level,” she explained.
Member and college athlete McKenna Prouty then pointed out she has the opportunity to compete in university sports this fall, but Biden’s policy has put this dream at risk. While she’s happy to compete with men academically, Prouty added, sheer biological differences put women at an inherent disadvantage athletically.
Prouty stressed no one wants to go into a competition if they only have a chance for second place. She also pointed out that this is not meant to disrespect anyone, but rather is a request for women to have their own space.
“We are asking for a fair playing field where we all have the chance to become champion,” she stated. “I’m asking those of you who have the ability to make these decisions to consider truth, fact and science, and the dreams of your children and your grandchildren.”
In a statement, former LPGA champion and active coalition member Nancy Lopez also weighed in. She said ever since she was a young girl she has fought for herself and her three daughters to have equal opportunity. Lopez then warned, “anything that diminishes Title IX undermines the rights and opportunities of young girls and women all over this country.”