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Ohio Lawmakers Advance Bill to Prohibit Biological Males from Women’s and Girls’ Sports

AP Photo/Mary Schwalm

Ohio state lawmakers advanced legislation on Wednesday that would ban transgender women from participating in high school and college sports. The bill includes a “verification” process for transgender athletes who want to participate in sports. 


The bill, known as the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” states that no government agency or subdivision of the state or athletic association can process a complaint, launch an investigation or take any other action against a school district for “maintaining single-sex interscholastic athletic teams or sports.”

In addition, if an athlete’s gender is “disputed,” they must present documentation from a doctor so they can participate in sports that align with their biological sex.

(B) No school, interscholastic conference, or organization that regulates interscholastic athletics shall permit individuals of the male sex to participate on athletic teams or in athletic competitions designated only for participants of the female sex. 

(C) If a participant's sex is disputed, the participant shall establish the participant's sex by presenting a signed physician's statement indicating the participant's sex based upon only the following: 

(1) The participant's internal and external reproductive anatomy; 

(2) The participant's normal endogenously produced levels of testosterone; 

(3) An analysis of the participant's genetic makeup.


Republican Ohio House member Rep. Jena Powell told local outlet News 5 Cleveland that female athletes are losing championships to biological male athletes competing as women. Townhall covered how transgender swimmer Will “Lia” Thomas won a Division I title at the NCAA swimming championships in March competing against women for University of Pennsylvania. Thomas is a biological male and previously competed on the men’s team for three years.

"I am passionate about this issue because we can not allow girls' dreams of being a gold medal athlete to be crushed by biological males stealing their opportunity," Powell said. "This bill ensures that every little girl who works hard to make it on a podium is not robbed of her chance by a biological male competing against her in a biological female sport."

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