Girls Only: Iowa Bans Biological Males From Women’s Sports

'This is a victory for girls’ sports in Iowa.'
Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas (R) of Penn University at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts on February 19, 2022. (Photo by

Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill Thursday banning biological males from women’s sports.

“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,” Reynolds said in a statement Thursday. “Forcing females to compete against males is the opposite of inclusivity and it’s absolutely unfair.”

The move makes Iowa the 11th state in the nation to ban biological males from women’s sports.

HF 2416 protects girls’ sports programs at every school level in Iowa, including in high school and in college sports. Student-athletes must participate in sports based on the biological sex listed on their birth certificate, according to the new law.

The bill also requires schools to designate sporting events as either co-ed, male, or female.

“No student will be prevented from playing a sport that matches his or her biological sex, or a sport designated as co-ed,” the governor’s office said in a press release.

Progressive groups quickly reacted to the news with condemnation.

State elected officials need to stop targeting trans youth and their families,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “As a parent, my heart goes out to all the young people in Iowa who were just cruelly kicked out of school sports by the unjustified law @IAgovernor Kim Reynolds signed today.”

But conservative groups like the American Principles Project celebrated the news, rejoicing that “Iowa has become the 11th state in America to protect the integrity of female athletics.”

“It worries me that this bill is needed at all,” Reynolds said Thursday as she signed the bill. “It’s hard to imagine how anyone who cares about the rights of women and girls could support anything less.”

The Iowa legislation accompanies a slew of transgender-related legislation across the country: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia have each passed similar laws, though Idaho’s law is held up by a legal challenge.

At least 29 states in the U.S. have made moves to craft or pass legislation banning biological males from women’s sports, according to data compiled by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Other Republican-backed legislation bans minors from obtaining transgender surgeries and hormones — medical interventions that advocates and many in the legacy media frame as “gender-affirming medical care.”

During the State of the Union address Tuesday evening, President Joe Biden urged lawmakers to enact the radically progressive Equality Act, criticizing the “onslaught of state laws targeting transgender Americans and their families.”

“As I said last year, especially to our younger transgender Americans, I’ll always have your back as your President so you can be yourself and reach your God-given potential,” Biden added.

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