WASHINGTON, D.C. — As Lia Thomas, the transgender University of Pennsylvania swimmer, prepares for upcoming league and NCAA championships, Senators Joni Ernst, Tommy Tuberville, Marsha Blackburn, and Mike Lee, along with two-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer and Women’s Sports Foundation co-founder Donna de Varona and a former NCAA college athlete and mother of a female Ivy League swimmer, will join women’s rights advocates from Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) and Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) in urging USA Swimming to protect Title IX by limiting elite competition to biological females. 

Last month, in response to the Thomas controversy, the NCAA washed its hands of responsibility for determining who is eligible to participate in women’s athletics, placing responsibility for sport-specific testosterone levels in the hands of the individual athletic governing bodies, such as USA Swimming. 

The press call will take place on National Women and Girls in Sports Day, Wednesday, February 2, 2022, at 8:55 a.m. EST.


  • Carrie Lukas, president of Independent Women’s Forum
  • Jennifer C. Braceras, director of Independent Women’s Law Center
  • Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA)
  • Senator Mike Lee (R-UT)
  • Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL)
  • Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
  • Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS)
  • Donna de Varona, two-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer and co-founder of the Women’s Sports Foundation
  • “Margaret,” former NCAA college athlete and mother of a swimmer who’s competed against UPenn’s Lia Thomas

Press briefing to discuss protecting female athletes.

*This call is on the record and reportable. A replay will be available.


Feb. 2, 2022 @ 8:55 a.m. EST


Number (Toll-Free): (888) 394-8218
Conference Code: 6551791

For more information or to speak with a press call participant, please contact Meghan Agostinelli at [email protected].

Must Read Report:
Competition: Title IX, Male-Bodied Athletes, and the Threat To Women’s Sports[September 2021, Independent Women’s Law Center]



Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance freedom, opportunities, and well-being.

Independent Women’s Law Center advocates for equal opportunity, individual liberty, and respect for the American constitutional order.