The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, HB 972, recently passed the PA House by a 115-84 vote. The bill ensures that sports are separated by biological sex and preserves decades of hard-won opportunties for women and girls in sports. 

We’ve all seen what happens when women are forced to compete against men. Even without testosterone, studies show that men maintain a competitive edge with larger hearts and lungs, denser bones, and more explosive muscle strength. It’s just reality that men overall have distinct biological and physical advantages over women.

Yet, despite what we know through experience and science, when it came time to vote on the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, some state representatives opposed to defending a fair playing field for women claimed that this important legislation was merely a “solution in search of a problem.”

A solution in search of a problem? Is having a man win the women’s 500 and 200 NCAA freestyle championships not a problem? Is a male winning the women’s 400 meter hurdle NCAA national championship not a problem? Are the hundreds of women who have lost opportunities and a fair playing field inconsequential?

No, there is no denying the problem created when women are forced to compete against biological men.

In Connecticut, two male athletes have taken 15 state titles that were previously held by 9 different girls in 2016.

  • At the 2018 CIAC State Open Championship, two biological males took first and second place in the Women’s Varsity 100-meter dash.
  • At the 2019 Indoor Track Championship in January, a male athlete won both the Women’s 55-meter dash and the Women’s 300-meter dash.
  • At the 2019 CIAC Combined State Open Championship in June, a male athlete won the Women’s 200-meter dash.
  • And it even goes beyond the state level. One of these male athletes went on to win the Women’s 200-meter dash at the 2019 New England Interscholastic Track and Field Championships.

Chelsea Mitchell, a top female high school runner from Connecticut shares, “Female athletes like me make a ton of sacrifices to compete—working tirelessly to shave fractions of seconds off our personal times and giving up what many would consider the ‘normal’ teenage life by watching what we eat, skipping parties for practice, going to bed early to get up early and practice yet again. It becomes almost like a career. And we do all this while working hard to earn scholarship opportunities with preferred colleges and universities. It’s all worth it to us because we know we stand a chance at victory against our fellow female athletes—but not against those who aren’t biologically female. It’s demoralizing to see all that effort and sacrifice as futile, where we are punished for a biological reality we can’t do anything about.” 

Reka Gyorgy, a swimmer from Virginia Tech, missed out on competing in the finals of the 500 free at the NCAA Championships because a spot was taken by a biological man.  “Every event that transgender athletes competed in was one spot taken away from biological females throughout the meet.”

Ainsley Erzen, one of the top female track and field athletes in Iowa shared in an op-ed, “If you try to ignore biological differences, I guarantee there will be nothing left of women’s sports. There will be no Sydney McLaughlins, no Serena Williamses, no Julie Ertzs, and no Abby Wambachs. So here I am writing to you, explaining why female sports need to be protected and preserved.”

This also happened in a central Pennsylvania school district. You can hear about the impact it had on the girl’s team here

These girls represent a handful of what hundreds of women are facing across our Commonwealth and our country. The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act is an important solution that allows for everyone to play in the best and most fair atmosphere. Identities don’t play sports, bodies do – the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act recognizes that reality and preserves crucial opportunities for women.
We applaud the House for taking a stand for girls and women in Pennsylvania. Click here to ask your Senator to support the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.