From the SFLA Blog

The Tragic Irony of Redefining Title IX: Fewer Protections for Women

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Dana Stancavage - 24 May 2022
The Tragic Irony of Redefining Title IX: Fewer Protections for Women

In 1972, former Congresswoman Patsy Mink (D-HI) and Sen. Birch Bayh (D-IN) led the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act. For 50 years this bill has afforded equal opportunities in education and sports to women. It states that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” 

Why it matters: Title IX offers a simple message that holds great meaning: do not discriminate on the basis of sex. Title IX was set up to protect women’s unique programs and needs; it allows women to be distinctive, protected, and have a place in society.  

Title IX Women's Programs
  • Students for Life of America (SFLA) launched a campaign to help students like Ruth Asmarzadeh who was unable to finish her degree at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado. In violation of her Title IX rights, Asmarzadeh was pressured to get an abortion, but she chose life. She lost her financial aid and couldn’t reschedule her exams, but with SFLA’s assistance she got her financial aid back, celebrated a baby shower, and was awarded a $6,000 grant to complete her education.  
     
  • Female students cannot be discriminated against or face the loss of scholarships, housing, athletic eligibility, or opportunities simply because of their pregnancy or parental status.  

What they’re saying: The Biden Administration is expted to seek rule changes in Section 1557 at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). President Biden and his proxies are reinterpreting the definition of discrimination on the basis of sex to include gender identity and sexual orientation—the reason Title IX was implemented. 

Title IX Women's Programs
  • Former Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, wrote in the New York Post, “The Biden team is bent on redefining “sex” from its clear biological and legal meaning to include “sex stereotypes, sex-related characteristics (including intersex traits), pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation and gender identity. The implications of such a sweeping change are unmistakable. The proposal would make it illegal for a school or state to prohibit biological men from competing against women. This all-encompassing approach, including nebulous terms like “sex stereotypes,” could even require schools to eliminate the limited and insufficient requirements in place today, such as requiring transgender athletes to be on hormone therapy before competing. It will leave biological women at a permanent competitive disadvantage.” 
     
  • The Washington Post covered the upcoming Biden proposal and in part wrote, “Cynthia Monteleone, a world champion sprinter and girls’ track coach, spoke about her daughter racing and coming in second place against a transgender girl who had played volleyball as a boy. “My daughter trained for two years for this first race. This transgender athlete trained for track for two weeks,” she said. She added that she tries to teach the girls she coaches that hard work pays off. “How can I continue to teach this … when, quite literally, average boys can change their identity and beat the top female in the competition?”   
Title IX Women's Programs

Where the Courts have weighed in: In 2020, the Supreme Court argued the Bostock v. Clayton case where Justice Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion about Title VII. Title VII can be seen as the ‘employment’ version of Title IX, it helps us gain understanding on the consequences of definition changes. Justice Gorsuch’s opinion has been criticized as, “redefining nothing less than the very nature of humanity.” 

  • Written in Gorsuch’s opinion, “Because discrimination on the basis of homosexuality or transgender status requires an employer to intentionally treat individual employees differently because of their sex, an employer who intentionally penalizes an employee for being homosexual or transgender also violates Title VII. An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision; exactly what Title VII forbids.” 
  • Alito and Thomas argued that, while the Court may believe it is achieving a judicious result, that same result could have—and should have—come through legislation and a specific, Congressional change to Title VII, rather than through the courts, and that the word “sex” cannot be read to include “sexual orientation” or “gender identity.” 
     
  • The Gorsuch opinion acknowledges this by writing, “The parties concede that the term “sex” in 1964 referred to the biological distinctions between male and female.” This matters because Supreme Court Justices should not be doing judicial activism from the bench. This case became relevant as it affects Title IX and the definition of a woman
Title IX Women's Programs

The big picture: Title IX is becoming a tool of the Biden Administration to redefine sex, ending protections for biological women while creating new mandates for abortion. A point of deliberate confusion in regard to Title IX that was intended to protect biological women is how current plans END protections for biological women.  

Women’s equality is on the chopping block as the Biden Administration seeks a rewrite of Title IX. The big winners from Biden’s rule change are corporate abortionists as children, women, and families regress to earlier times. In Biden’s world, what makes women distinctive is irrelevant, only abortion is available to vulnerable women who deserve so much more.  

READ NEXT: SFLAction Celebrates Introduction of Pregnant Students’ Rights Act in Congress  

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