Iowa Bans Male-Born Athletes From Participating in Female Sports at Schools

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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Thursday signed a bill barring male-born athletes from competing in female sports programs at school and college.

Under the bill, known as HF 2416, public and private K-12 schools and community colleges, as well as colleges and universities affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), are required to designate sporting events as male, female, or co-ed.

According to the governor, the bill “protects girls’ sports programs at all school levels, including high school and collegiate levels in Iowa,” and allows students to participate in sports programs based on the biological sex listed on their birth certificate.

The measure means that only students who are female according to their birth certificate will be eligible to compete in girls’ sports and transgender women and girls will no longer be able to participate in the sports, effective immediately.

Reynolds signed the bill just one day after the state Senate passed the measure in a party-line 31–17 vote. Iowa Democrats opposed the legislation but lacked the votes to stop it from advancing in the Republican-controlled legislature.

“This is a victory for girls’ sports in Iowa. No amount of talent, training, or effort can make up for the natural physical advantages males have over females. It’s simply a reality of human biology,” said Reynolds. “Forcing females to compete against males is the opposite of inclusivity and it’s absolutely unfair.”

Iowa is the latest state in the United States to pass such a measure, after Idaho, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Texas, among others, passed similar laws banning trans females from participating in women’s sports. Some of these states are now facing lawsuits over the measure.

Supporters of such a measure believe that it will create a level playing field and fairness for female athletes in schools because transgender athletes have an unfair advantage over cisgender students.

One Iowa Action board chair Angus Raymond condemned the signing of the new legislation by Reynolds, saying the move would cause harm to some students in schools.

“Despite overwhelming opposition, and a plethora of medical and mental health experts giving testimony to how this will cause harm, Gov. Reynolds is telling Iowa’s transgender children and youth that they are less-than, and unimportant to her state in blatant disregard for Title IX,” said Raymond. “We are profoundly disappointed in the legislature and the governor’s office.”

The Epoch Times has contacted a spokesperson for Gov. Kim Reynolds for comment.

Katabella Roberts


Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.

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