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Risking Suspension, Champion Powerlifter Says ‘Trans Rights’ Don’t Trump Women’s Rights

“I love powerlifting. But if sports just open the floodgates and men are competing with women, well, what's the point?"

Less than three years ago, April Hutchinson checked herself into rehab. Today, she’s a record-breaking powerlifter decorated with gold medals. Hutchinson asserts that powerlifting saved her life the moment she left rehab and now she refuses to let her sport — or any other women’s sport — fall to the wayside.

So when Hutchinson read that USA Powerlifting is now legally obligated to allow biological males to compete against females, she couldn’t stay silent.

“I don’t want to sound horrible saying this, but ‘trans rights’ do not supersede or trump women’s rights,” Hutchinson said. “My main focus is to keep fairness in sports for women. Women can’t feel like they’re being silenced. You have a voice. You guys need to use it because that’s how change is going to happen.”

Courtesy April Hutchinson.

In the Canadian Powerlifting Union (CPU), female athletes have had to compete directly against a man identifying as a woman. The powerlifter, who goes by Anne Andres and has set more than one record in women’s powerlifting, placed third at February’s 2023 CPU Nationals competition, kicking Aileen Bishop off the winners’ podium. Hutchinson was supposed to compete in the open category against Andres but didn’t show up as a method of protest. To add insult to injury, this year Andres posted a now-viral video asking, “Why is women’s bench so bad?”

The video, in which Andres appeared to mock female powerlifters for being weak and not having a good bench press, offended many female powerlifters, including Hutchinson.

For the past two years, Hutchinson added that Andres has openly shared having a biological advantage over female competitors.

“Through this whole thing, I’ve been very respectful. To actually, blatantly say you have an advantage and then make fun of your fellow lifters, I mean, that’s just like… It’s abuse,” Hutchinson said “It’s abusive towards women, and I think it’s shameful [and] it’s disgraceful.”

Now, Hutchinson sees a double standard emerging for female athletes. When she went to the International Powerlifting Federation (IFP) World Masters Powerlifting Championships in October 2022, she recalled undergoing routine drug testing for banned substances like steroids. Hutchinson is required to disclose these medical records in order to compete. But as of now, trans-identifying athletes aren’t required to disclose, let alone monitor, their testosterone levels.

“This six foot, 250 pound man [who’s] gone through puberty can come in and just be whatever, [there’s] no monitoring of testosterone levels and he can compete,” she said. “So you got me tested, you got me, who’s 47 years old, I would love to take hormones, like what if I was in menopause? I can’t take anything.”

Hutchinson’s Canadian powerlifting federation prides itself on its anti-drug stance. Visitors to their website are immediately greeted by their mission statement, “to sanction the highest quality competitions and to develop, promote and educate drug free powerlifting in Canada.”

Apparently, that mission statement applies only to women — not to trans-identifying athletes taking synthetic hormones.

Courtesy April Hutchinson.

Hutchinson refuses to quit despite the industry-wide push for progressive gender “inclusivity” in sports. This inclusivity is paradoxical; not only does it rob Peter to pay Paul but it also intimidates female athletes to the point that they feel the need to stay quiet in fear.

“The only reason why I am staying with my federation now is because if I do leave, then I guess they’ve won, right?” Hutchinson said. “I love powerlifting. But if sports just open the floodgates and men are competing with women, well, what’s the point? I have a six-year-old niece. My boyfriend has three daughters. I’m fighting for the future of sports because if we don’t fight today, there will be no sports 10 years from now for women, for females.”

Take one look at Hutchinson’s Instagram feed where she documents her physical progress and growing number of achievements, and you see an undeniably strong, confident woman who quite literally lifted herself out of inner turmoil. Unlike many female athletes who protest in silence, Hutchinson doesn’t shy away from posting her muscular physique and captioning the photos with hashtags such as, #SaveWomensSports, #WomenAreNotAHormoneLevel, and even #DefundCCES, in reference to the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports’s (CCES) “inclusive” gender diversity agenda.

Hutchinson recently received letters from the CPU threatening to suspend her for publicly voicing her concerns about men in women’s sports. In response, Hutchinson said that she and hundreds of her powerlifting colleagues are ready to take legal action.

“Can you imagine suspending a woman who is fighting for women’s rights? They’re not actually thinking about what women want,” she said. “They want to appease a small percentile of people. It’s so disheartening, but we can’t forget that we’re the majority because the other side can be so loud.”

Courtesy April Hutchinson.

Though her federation has shown hostility, Hutchinson said that she has received an overwhelming amount of support from her powerlifting community, the LGBTQ community, and even trans-identifying athletes sharing that they’re sorry about the state of women’s sports.

“I feel very positive that people have had enough, they’re fed up, and there will be change,” said Hutchinson, adding, “We have to hang on to that. We have to be positive because it will happen.”

Andrea Mew is the storytelling coordinator at Independent Women’s Forum. Andrea received her B.A in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations from California State University, Fullerton.

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Risking Suspension, Champion Powerlifter Says ‘Trans Rights’ Don’t Trump Women’s Rights