AOC warns of genital inspections for women if trans women face sports bans
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has warned that banning trans women from women’s sports could result in all participants facing genital examinations.
During a House Oversight Sub-Committee meeting on Tuesday (5 December), the Democrat New York representative, known as AOC, described Republican attempts to target trans women in sports as particularly problematic.
“We are talking about opening up all women and girls to genital examinations when they are underage, potentially just because someone can point to someone and say ‘I don’t think you are a girl’,” she said.
Tuesday’s hearing came as part of an attempt by Republicans to pass a bill barring trans women and girls from participating in school sports entirely.
The bill, dubbed the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, argues that it is a violation of (federal civil rights law) Title IX (of the Education Amendments of 1972) for public schools to allow “male sex” individuals to participate in programmes designated for women and girls.
It passed a House vote on Monday (4 December) by 219 to 203, but is expected to fail in the Senate which has a Democrat majority.
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AOC says Republicans don’t have women’s interests at heart
During her statement, AOC said the bill was not only transphobic but representative of the misogynistic mind set of Republicans.
“We’re supposed to sit here… [and] see a party that has voted against women’s access to abortion, voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Act, voted against the Violence Against Women Act, voted against our right to have access to contraception and also doesn’t even vote for equal funding, equitable funding in women’s sports.
“And I’m supposed to believe that this is who’s looking out for my best interests. I think not.”
Among testimonials heard during the hearing was one from notoriously anti-trans pundit and former swimmer Riley Gaines, who called transgender participation in sports “unsafe, unfair and discriminatory.”
Gaines, who once finished in fifth place in a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship race and blamed it on a trans swimmer who also lost, said she believes “inclusion cannot be prioritised over safety and fairness”.
Democrat congresswoman Summer Lee responded by calling Gaines’ testimony “transphobic” and argued that the Republicans’ voting record showed the “complete opposite” of caring about women’s rights.
She cited an NCAA report released last year that found men’s sporting programmes receive more than double the resources and funding of women’s.
Despite this, she added, the 2024 appropriations bill was used to further exclude transgender people from sporting events.
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