Governor Kristi Noem Says Transgender Athletes Bill ‘Strongest’ in Nation to Protect Women’s Sport

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Republican Gov. Kristi Noem said Sunday her bill making its way through the South Dakota legislature aimed at protecting fairness in women’s sports will be the “strongest bill in the nation” of its kind.

“It’s about fairness,” Noem said on “Fox News Sunday.” “It’s about making sure our girls have a chance to succeed and compete, win scholarships, possibly continue to play professional sports beyond that. We want them to have the opportunity to do so. To do.

FORMER KRISTI NOEM ADVISOR ACCUSED GOVERNOR OF ‘GASLIGHTING’ WITH NEW WOMEN’S SPORT AD

Kristi Noem, Governor of South Dakota, speaks during the Leaders of Families Summit in Des Moines, Iowa on July 16, 2021.
(Rachel Mummey/Bloomberg)

“Title IX fought for this years and years ago and I’ve been doing it for years, which started, man, almost five years ago now in the sport of rodeo, where we protected women’s events,” she continued. “So now I am introducing a bill to the legislature that will be the strongest bill in the nation to protect fairness in women’s sport, and I hope my legislators will support it.”

A South Dakota legislative committee on Friday approved a bill championed by Noem that limits college and K-12 attendance to the gender identified on an athlete’s birth certificate. If passed by the legislature, South Dakota will become the 10th state to ban transgender people from competing on teams that match their gender identity.

The bill delivers on a promise Noem kept when she controversially vetoed a similar bill from the state legislature last year. After initially supporting House Bill 1217, Noem vetoed the legislature in style and form with a slew of demands, including removing a provision to protect collegiate sports. The Republican-led legislature ultimately failed to override its veto, and the governor attempted to replace that bill with executive orders aimed at protecting K-12 sports.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on July 11, 2021 in Dallas, Texas.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on July 11, 2021 in Dallas, Texas.
(Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Noem had argued that unlike elementary and secondary school regulations, collegiate restrictions would create an unworkable patchwork for sports organizations that operate at the national level.

“I didn’t veto a bill,” Noem said Sunday. “What I did was I asked my legislature for changes, and they rejected it. So immediately the same day, I put in place executive orders to protect the sport from girls.”

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Noem also defended his new bill to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is about six weeks old, which includes a provision that would punish people who help someone have an abortion with a minimum fine. of $10,000.

“South Dakota law is different,” she said. “It’s modeled after the Texas law, and it says when that heartbeat is detected, abortion is not an option. And frankly, since we put the Texas law in place, lives have been lost. In South Dakota there’s a private right of action clause that’s different from the Texas model. But we think it really gives people the option of not really inserting the state into that relationship, but to make sure that people have the ability to sue doctors who perform abortions, and save those lives so that we can continue to be bold in doing so.”

Sam Dorman of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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