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Guaranteeing fairness, safety, and dignity for all girls and women
By Kristina D. Roegner
December 15, 2023
On The Record

The Save Women’s Sports Act is about something much bigger than sports.

It’s about protecting the most fundamental right in America – equality under the law.

It’s about ensuring equality and fairness for every girl and woman in Ohio.

The Biden administration is pushing hard to take away the rights of girls and women – and return them to second-class status in sports, both in school and on campus.

The changes the feds are trying to make to Title IX would revoke gender equality in sports and make the rights of a tiny group of men more important and powerful than the rights of women.

The Save Women’s Sports Act will stop that plan in its tracks, here in Ohio.

House Bill 68 is crucial to protecting the rights of girls and women in our state, which is why I reviewed hundreds of testimonies, in person and written, as Chair of the Senate Government Oversight Committee. The majority of the Senate and House agreed and voted Wednesday to pass the bill.

Women have fought for so long to secure equal rights – and now the radical left is trying to throw so much of that away in the blink of an eye.

Title IX has guaranteed equal opportunities in sports for girls and women from kindergarten through college since 1979. The changes the Biden administration are seeking to make to Title IX are so radical they would force girls and women to compete against boys and men. And that’s just for starters.

As former White House attorney and policy advisor May Mailman explained two weeks ago while testifying in favor of House Bill 68, the Biden changes would “flip Title IX on its head” by abandoning a 50-year regulation to “provide equal athletic opportunity for members of both sexes” and replace it with “a new default position that women’s sports are for anyone who identifies as a woman.”

“Allowing males to take roster spots and opportunities from females violates this equal opportunity mandate,” she explained. “The proposed rule would take a large leap toward erasing many women and girls from competitive sports.”

This is raising the glass ceiling to new heights. It is the opposite of the feminist movement. This is the government telling girls and women to shut up about abuse and mistreatment as their rights are squashed.

It gets worse. 

The Biden administration is using blackmail to force schools and colleges that receive federal funds to allow males who identify as females to compete against girls and women.

Biden is threatening to take away billions of dollars in federal funding – including school lunch money – from public schools that don’t let boys compete against girls.

That was outlined in a policy memo from the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued in May 2022, directed at public school that do not adopt the administration’s interpretation of Title IX. The memo builds on Biden’s executive order from 2021, permitting males identifying as females to use female bathrooms.

Senate President Matt Huffman, Riley Gaines. Senator Kristina Roegner
Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman, Riley Gaines, Senator Kristina Roegner 

We believe these radical impositions on girls and women are:

  • Unequal
  • Unfair
  • Unsafe


The week after Riley Gaines testified in support of passing our Save Women’s Sports Act (and detailed her reasons in the President’s Podcast) she testified before Congress on Biden’s attempt to neuter Title IX.

“Under the proposed rule, women’s sports aren’t just for women. They’re for anyone who simply says they are a woman,” said the former University of Kentucky swimmer and record holder.

Gaines had previously explained to On The Record how the Title IX changes would destroy equality by allowing men and boys to compete in girls and women’s sports.  Girls and women would:

  • Lose spots on teams.
  • Lose spots in starting lineups and playing time.
  • Lose scholarship opportunities.

This demonstrates why this is not just a sports issue – it is so much bigger. This is a threat to basic equal rights for girls and women.

If a girl loses a sports scholarship to a boy, she may be losing much more than a spot on a team. She may lose a scholarship. And a college education. And her entire future.

The inherent inequality is a fundamental issue. 

Biden’s changes to Title IX could be the most severe blow to women’s rights in American history.

“Let me be perfectly clear. A school that knowingly allows a male athlete to take a spot on a woman’s team or allows a male athlete to take the field in a woman’s game is denying a female student athletic opportunity,” said Gaines. “That is sex-based discrimination, and it violates Title IX, regardless of what the new regulations might say.”

The U.S. House Oversight Committee issued a report last week that found, “By redefining sex discrimination to include ‘gender identity’ in regulation, the Biden Administration will be eradicating female-only sports, spaces, and scholarships at institutions receiving federal funding.”

Former Senior Counsel to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, Sarah Perry, testified, “Title IX made possible opportunities for women historically excluded from higher education, athletics, graduate school, scholarships, and more.” She continued, “If a self-declaration of womanhood and hormones are sufficient to open women’s sports to men, what after all was the point of the women’s liberation movement?”

Also testifying was Kim Russell, the lacrosse coach fired in September by Oberlin College for her opposition to letting male-born athletes compete against women, who said:

“The Biden Administration is trying to effectively change the meaning and language of Title IX. If allowed, this will endanger women in sports and private spaces and take away opportunities from women in sports and academia. Never in a million years did I think I would be sitting here at 56 fighting to get back the rights that were given to women and girls 51 years ago.”

Gaines told OTR last week that the situation is getting even worse as the Biden administration attempts to rewrite Title IX to equate sex with gender identity, because “men would have full access to bathrooms, locker rooms, changing spaces on campuses. Men could take academic and athletic scholarships away from women. Men could be randomly housed with women in dorm rooms.”

“If you complained, you would be charged with – and guilty of – sexual harassment.”

“The message that's being sent loud and clear is we don't matter. We as female athletes. We as women. We don't matter. Our privacy? Doesn't matter. Our safety? Doesn't matter. Our equal opportunities, our fairness, our feelings, our dignity? No, that doesn't matter to them.”


Keeping female sports for females is not about excluding anyone. 

It’s about letting all kids play. For the right teams.

It wasn’t a fluke when the U.S. Women’s National Team lost a soccer match to a team of boys under 15-years-old before winning the Olympics and the World Cup. 

It happened twice.

Star player Carli Lloyd revealed that not only did the US Women’s team lose to a boys’ team from Dallas, they also lost to one from Munich.

Her explanation for the losses was simple: "They should beat us. Bigger, stronger, faster! Boys always gave us a run for our money! It was great prep."

Boys will be boys. Even if they identify as girls.

“Permitting biological males to compete in women’s sports is inherently unfair to women and girls throughout the country,” reported the U.S. House Oversight Committee.

“Males have physiological advantages over women, including body size, greater muscle mass, increased lung capacity, larger hearts, and greater bone density. Even athletes of similar size, height, and wingspan exhibit performance disparities on the basis of sex.”


“There is a place for everyone to play sports in this country,” Gaines testified before Congress. “But unsafe, unfair, and discriminatory practices towards women must stop. Inclusion cannot be prioritized over safety and fairness.”

The committee determined, “Allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports can put female athletes at risk of serious injury.”

Just ask Payton McNabb.

She was struck in the face by a volleyball spiked by a boy playing for a girl’s high school team in North Carolina.

McNabb was knocked unconscious, suffered a concussion and neck injury, partial paralysis, impaired vision, and spent months recovering from headaches, concentration problems, anxiety, and depression.

“I’m here for every biological female athlete behind me,” testified McNabb before the North Carolina General Assembly in support of the Fairness in Women’s Sports Bill. “My little sister, my cousins, my teammates. Allowing biological males to compete against biological females is dangerous. I may be the first to come before you with an injury, but if this doesn’t pass I won’t be the last.”

Testifying in the Ohio Senate in support of the Save Women’s Sports Act, Gaines said, “I urge you to pass HB 68 to protect female athletes, especially at the collegiate level where the physical differences, risks of injury and loss of potential opportunities afforded to female athletes are greatest.”

Protecting Children

Critics complain that there are so few instances of trans athletes in Ohio sports that HB 68 is not needed. But this bill isn’t about the present. It’s about the future.

It’s about protecting girls and women as Biden seeks to strip their equal rights with his radical vision for their future.

The entire purpose of Title IX was to ensure girls and women can play sports on a level playing field. Now Biden seeks to turn the original intent of that bill on its head in favor of granting new and powerful rights to a tiny minority over the vast majority.

Perhaps that is why the media tend to ignore the Save Women’s Sport provision in House Bill 68 and focus instead on attacking the bill’s safeguards for children against the cruelly misleading euphemism “gender-affirmative care.”

That practice is based upon the belief that people can change their sex with experimental procedures involving hormones, chemicals, and genital-mutilating surgery.  

As OTR reported, the science is hardly settled. Medical experts say the evidence so far indicates such transitions are rarely, if ever, successful.

House Bill 68 installs important safeguards so that children with gender issues may still receive counseling, but must wait until they become adults before pursuing any chemical, hormonal, or surgical treatments that would have irreversible and life-long consequences.

The American public overwhelmingly (78.7%) approves of these safeguards. For some reason, Ohio Senate Democrats oppose them.

They have generally ignored the threat to women’s equality and focused their opposition to the bill on what they admit is the “tiny minority” of children in Ohio currently receiving medical treatment for gender issues.

Democrats also ignore the highly experimental nature of this treatment, as well as the grave risks and dangers about it we heard from former patients who testified before my committee.

We think the best way to protect children who may suffer from gender dysphoria is to first do no harm.

As Senate Majority Caucus Communications Director John Fortney stated, “When we hear the words trans children, we should keep in mind there are children with behavioral disorders, whose young, still developing brains are vulnerable to predatory suggestion and these children should be protected from embracing radical treatments and surgeries that are options for adults, not children.”

The advocacy group Gays Against Groomers agrees, declaring on its website:

  •        “In order to become healthy critically thinking adults, normal puberty is essential. Puberty blockers are a risky and unnatural way of teaching a child to deal with something every human being naturally goes through. The risks include loss of bone density, slowed or stunted brain development, stunted sexual development, and sterility. Removing body parts of healthy children before they’ve grown into them is child abuse, plain and simple.”
  •        “We are focused on protecting children from these mature concepts until they are consenting adults who are free to make their own choices, and we welcome trans voices that align with our mission.”
  •        “When fighting for equality, our goal was to successfully integrate ourselves into society, but now these radicals aim to restructure it entirely in order to accommodate a fringe minority, as well as seek to indoctrinate children into their ideology. We’re saying NO.” 

The fight for HB 68 is the fight for equal rights, fairness, and safety for all girls and women in Ohio.

It’s also about preserving their dignity – and not relegating the “second sex” back to second-class status in society.

Ohio State Senator Kristina Roegner, R- Hudson, represents the 27th District.