APP Press - Legislation

Gov. Kristi Noem Moves to Protect Women’s Sports in South Dakota

December 14, 2021

Earlier today, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R) announced she will press her state’s legislature to pass a bill to protect women’s sports and released the text for draft legislation.

In response, Terry Schilling, president of American Principles Project (APP), released the following statement urging support for the bill:

“Welcome to the coalition, Governor! We’re pleased that Gov. Noem has decided to take action in South Dakota to adequately protect female athletes. Our initial impression of her proposed legislation is that it is a strong measure to defend the integrity of women’s sports from K-12 to college. We encourage state lawmakers to support it and officially make South Dakota the tenth state to enshrine protections for women’s sports into law.”

APP’s Director of Policy and Government Affairs Jon Schweppe provided more details on Gov. Noem’s proposed legislation in a Substack article published this afternoon:

The bill would protect the integrity of both K-12 and college athletics, while explicitly tying the definition of “sex” to an athlete’s original birth certificate. […] The bill also gives parents and students the right to sue schools or athletic associations that allow men to compete in women’s sports. American Principles Project (APP) has advocated for implementing private rights of action into a number of different bills spanning numerous issues, and there’s a reason for it: civil liability is an incredible enforcement mechanism that strongly incentivizes compliance with the law.

If Governor Noem gets this done, South Dakota would become the tenth state to defend women’s sports. Noem would be joining a coalition of courageous governors including Brad Little of Idaho, Greg Gianforte of Montana, Jim Justice of West Virginia, and Ron DeSantis of Florida. The early action of these governors helped pave the way for more states to follow suit in protecting women during next year’s legislative sessions. We expect to see women’s sports bills introduced, and hopefully passed, in at least a dozen states in addition to South Dakota in 2022.

You can read Jon Schweppe’s full article here.

To schedule an engagement with American Principles Project, contact Paul Dupont at (o) 202-503-2010 or pdupont@americanprinciplesproject.org.


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