WASHINGTON, D.C.—Independent Women’s Voice (IWV) supports the introduction of House Bill 1217 in the South Dakota Legislature to save girls’ and women’s sports and, further, urges state legislators to vote yes when the bill comes to the chamber floor. If passed, House Bill 1217 would establish that, when it comes to teams and sports sponsored by schools, school districts, athletic associations, or higher education institutions in the state, sponsored teams/sports must be designated as male, female, or co-ed programs; and “a team or sport designated as being female is available only to participants who are female, based on their biological sex” at birth.

State-level efforts to protect women’s sports are urgently needed. Recent executive action at the federal level by President Joe Biden jeopardizes the future of female sports and may even place girls and women in physical danger. Biden’s executive order allowing men, boys, or otherwise male-bodied athletes to compete with women would inevitably strip opportunities away from biological females.

“In the realm of athletics, biological sex differences matter,” said Hadley Heath Manning, IWV director of policy. “Without separate teams for women and men, men will dominate women in competitive sports where strength, size, or speed are relevant factors.”

IWV recently sent a letter urging all South Dakota state representatives to protect female sports by voting yes in support of House Bill 1217 when it comes to the floor.

IWV’s sister organization, Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), has been speaking with women and girls across the country, collecting their stories about what being, raising, or watching female athletes means to them. They have also shared their concerns about Biden’s executive order and its implications for women’s sports.

Read more about Title IX and women’s sports from IWF HERE.



Independent Women’s Voice fights for women by expanding support for policy solutions that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance freedom, opportunities, and well-being.