GRAND RAPIDS, MI — On Monday, June 17, Independent Women’s Voice (IWV) held a joint press conference with former U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to urge policy leaders to reverse the Biden administration’s radical Title IX rewrite, set to take effect August 1, and protect women’s spaces and opportunities, including sports. The Biden administration’s Title IX rewrite would deprive women of the very rights Title IX was passed to protect: equal athletic and educational opportunity, privacy, and safety. 

Speakers joined in front of the Gerald R. Ford Museum, representing the significance of Title IX as then-Congressman Ford voted for passage of Title IX and, as president, signed the final version of Title IX in 1975. 

Speakers shared personal experiences about the misguided policies that allow men in women’s spaces and highlighted the need for Congressional action to preserve women’s equal opportunity for future generations. Here is what they had to say:

Paula Scanlan, Independent Women’s Voice ambassador and former University of Pennsylvania swimmer, where she was a teammate of Lia Thomas: “When my teammates and I tried to voice our concerns to the athletic department, we were told that sharing the locker room with Thomas was a non-negotiable, and we were offered psychological services as an attempt to reeducate us to become comfortable with the idea of undressing in front of a male. The Biden administration is actively encouraging this discrimination that I faced, and we must now act to reverse this. Fortunately for us, our representatives in Congress have the opportunity to save the integrity of Title IX by repealing this illegal rewrite.”

Hon. Betsy DeVos, former U.S. Secretary of Education: “No one was confused about what [Title IX] was meant to do. No one argued what the words meant. This remained true as Vice President Ford oversaw the implementation of Title IX and, ultimately, President Ford signed the final pieces into law. The same should be true today: There should be no question about what the law means. But the Biden regulation would again put women in a position to be discriminated against in favor of biological men. This cannot be allowed.”

Selina Soule, 4x track and field National Qualifier, who was forced out of regional championships due to males taking women’s spots: “The Biden administration has single-handedly decided to change Title IX beyond the law starting on August 1 and undo all those protections for women. The changes … deny simple biological fact and will replace sex-separated accommodations with co-ed ones. Women will be subjected to discrimination as I was in Connecticut during my high school career, where I competed against at least one male athlete almost every single week.”

Brianna Howard, Independent Women’s Voice coalition manager: “Women need to know which federal elected officials in Congress stand with them. Now more than ever, members of Congress have an opportunity to stop Biden’s Title IX rewrite, stripping ‘sex’ and replacing it with ‘gender’. We know sex and gender are not the same. The good news is that it’s not too late to repeal the unethical Title IX rules—this can be undone, but Congress needs to act quickly.” 

BACKGROUND: This press conference represents a groundswell of bipartisan support for protecting Title IX and women’s single-sex spaces. Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate took action to protect women’s sports and repeal the Biden administration’s Title IX rule last week, but the fight is just beginning. Bills in both chambers are still awaiting a floor vote.   

Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) and the Defense of Freedom Institute (DFI) have both filed federal lawsuits to vacate Biden’s illegal Title IX rule. 

Last week, a federal district judge enjoined the Biden administration’s Title IX rule in Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana and Idaho, arising out of DFI and those states’ suit in the Western District of Louisiana. The judge found that “the changes in the Final Rule would subvert the original purpose of Title IX: protecting biological females from discrimination.” 

IWLC filed its lawsuit on April 29 in the Northern District of Alabama. The National Law Journal said it stood out for its challenge to multiple aspects of the regulation. Not only does IWLC challenge the Biden administration’s dissolution of sex-based protections, but also the administration’s mandate that universities punish young men through kangaroo court proceedings, denying them any semblance of due process. Joining IWF as plaintiffs are Parents Defending Education, Speech First, and the states of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina.

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.