March 29, 2021

Policy Leaders to Noem: Support the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act

Dozens of state and national policy leaders sign open letter to South Dakota governor

PIERRE, South Dakota – This morning, Family Policy Alliance – a pro-family ministry – released an open letter to South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. The letter, signed by 47 national and state policy leaders, urges Governor Noem to support a bill like HB 1217, the “Fairness in Women’s Sports” Act, as originally passed by the state legislature. The bill is designed to protect female athletic opportunities by ensuring that only biological females are eligible to compete in girls’ and women’s school sports.

Gov. Noem previously opted to partially veto the bill, removing key enforcement language and limiting its coverage to K-12 sports. In addition to her changes to the law, Noem announced that she intended to form a “coalition to defend Title IX,” the federal law that helped female athletes gain equal access to sports.

But state and national leaders have publicly decried Noem’s veto decision as weakening the bill and denying key protections to college athletes. And, they note, there already is a coalition to defend Title IX and save girls’ sports: this year, 30 state legislatures have considered legislation similar to South Dakota’s, and to date three governors (Idaho, Mississippi, and Arkansas) have signed such bills into law.

Today’s coalition letter articulates these concerns and emphasizes that Noem should support a bill like HB 1217 as originally passed by the South Dakota legislature.

“The South Dakota legislature got it right with HB 1217,” states the coalition, “and your original excitement to sign it was on the mark. … We stand behind these legislators and South Dakota’s female athletes. Gutting the bill doesn’t help anyone win—it sends South Dakota and their girls and women back to the sidelines and sends the wrong signal to others across the country in the fight to save girls’ and women’s sports.”

The letter was signed by 11 leading national organizations: Alliance Defending Freedom, American College of Pediatricians, American Principles Project, Christian Medical & Dental Associations, Concerned Women for America, Eagle Forum, Family Policy Alliance, Family Research Council, Heritage Action for America, Save Women’s Sports, and Women’s Liberation Front. It also gained support from key leaders in 35 states, including South Dakota.

The coalition hopes that Noem will ultimately choose to support a bill like HB 1217 as originally passed by the legislature.

The full coalition letter may be found here.

Media Contact:

Robert Noland, (719) 308-2822, Media@FamilyPolicyAlliance.com


Family Policy Alliance is an alliance-building ministry that advances biblical citizenship and promotes good public policy to protect religious freedom, families, and life.


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