Raleigh, N.C. — Independent Women’s Voice (IWV) will join North Carolina lawmakers and athletes in a joint press conference held by IWV and NC Values on the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act veto override. IWV has hailed the bill as pro-woman; if enacted, it will prohibit biological men and boys from participating in women and girls’ sports at all levels – including collegiate athletics. Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act on July 5.

If the override vote is successful, North Carolina will become the 23rd state to protect women and girls sports.


  • Senator Vickie Sawyer (North Carolina Senate District 37), sponsor of SB 631, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act
  • Representative Jennifer Balkcom (North Carolina House District 117), sponsor of HB 574, the Fairness in Women’s Sport Act
  • Representative Erin Paré (North Carolina House Deputy Conference Chair, House District 37)
  • Payton McNabb, Independent Women’s Forum Junior Spokeswoman, former North Carolina high school athlete
  • Sylvia Hatchell, former UNC women’s basketball coach and only third women’s basketball coach in history with 1,000+ victories 
  • Evie Edwards, elite women’s cyclist and the mother of an elementary-age female cyclist

WHAT: Press Conference, Veto Override Vote of the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act

WHEN: Wednesday, August 16 at 11:15 a.m. ET

WHERE: Legislative Assembly Area 1

Independent Women’s Voice has played a leading role nationwide in support of state legislatures that are advancing protections for women’s spaces, including sports. IWV spokeswomen have testified in various states, including before North Carolina’s House and Senate committees in support of HB 574 and SB 631, urging lawmakers to do the right thing to protect single-sex competition and women’s equal athletic opportunities, privacy, and safety.

  • In April, Riley Gaines, advisor for Independent Women’s Voice, met with North Carolina lawmakers and testified alongside Payton McNabb to advocate for the passage of the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. McNabb, on her North Carolina high school volleyball team, was injured by a biological man competing on the women’s team, and told her story for the first time before North Carolina lawmakers, ultimately joining Independent Women’s Forum as a junior spokeswoman in the fight to save women’s sports. Hadley Heath Manning, vice president for policy at IWV and a University of North Carolina Morehead-Cain Scholar graduate, provided written testimony in support of the bill. 
  • Independent Women’s Network, the grassroots activist arm of Independent Women’s Voice, Chapter Leader Megan Burke, a 2x NCAA champion runner from the University of North Carolina, organized a number of other UNC female athletes to join her in submitting testimony in support of the measure. They later penned a local op-ed in The Carolina Journal.
  • In June, Riley Gaines provided testimony to the North Carolina Senate in support of the bill and urged senators to consider the facts, the science, and the growing number of stories showcasing the need for the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. 

MEDIA RSVP: [email protected] 



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.