Testimonies can be found HERE once the hearing begins.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) today announced Riley Gaines, IWF ambassador and 12x NCAA All-American swimmer, and Kim Russell, IWF ambassador and former head women’s lacrosse coach at Oberlin College, will testify on female athletics, the NCAA, and Title IX before the U.S. House Oversight Committee’s Subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services at 2:00 p.m. ET on December 5. 

The hearing, entitled, “The Importance of Protecting Female Athletics and Title IX” will examine the Biden administration’s proposed rule changes to Title IX which would redefine sex discrimination on the basis of “gender identity,” undermining the original intent of Title IX and threatening the integrity of women’s sports. Gaines and Russell will share unique perspectives on women’s sports, giving firsthand accounts of how Title IX rules impact female athletics at the collegiate level. 

    [LEFT] Riley Gaines, Independent Women’s Forum Ambassador
[RIGHT] Coach Kim Russell, Independent Women’s Forum Ambassador

Gaines will share her personal story about competing against biological male Lia Thomas in the 200-yard freestyle at the 2022 NCAA Division I Swimming Championships, where she and other female athletes were forced to share a locker room and change in front of Thomas. Gaines will share stories of other female athletes and how men in women’s sports is an ongoing problem.

In her testimony, Gaines writes, in part, “Let me be perfectly clear: a school that knowingly allows a male athlete to take a spot on a women’s team, or allows a male athlete to take the field in a woman’s game, is denying a female student athletic opportunity. That is sex- based discrimination, and it violates Title IX—regardless of what new regulations might say.”

Russell will speak from her experience as a two-sport NCAA athlete, mother, and former head women’s lacrosse coach at Oberlin College, where she was inducted into three halls of fame for contributing to the growth of women’s lacrosse from her 27 years of coaching. Shortly after publicly expressing her support for the protection of female athletics on a personal Instagram account, Russell shared the retaliation and vitriol she received from Oberlin administrators in an IWF exclusive documentary, “Burned at the Stake.”

In her testimony, Russell writes, “Title IX passed when I was five. I have reaped the benefits, and my life’s journey continues to be massively impacted by laws passed supporting women’s rights. The Biden administration is trying to effectively change the meaning and language of Title IX. If allowed, this will endanger women in sports and private spaces, take away opportunities from women in sports and academia, and change vital statistics for academics, athletics, and medical documents.”

Following the hearing, Gaines and Russell will join a press conference hosted by Subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services Chairwoman Lisa McClain at the House Triangle at 4:00 p.m. ET. The press conference will examine the Biden administration’s proposed Title IX rules. This comes shortly after the National Women’s Law Center holds a so-called “Title IX Day of Action” in front of the White House calling on the Biden administration to advance its final illegal rewrite of Title IX.. Gaines says, “the National Women’s Law Center no longer speaks for women. They no longer represent the interests of women, including female athletes. Independent Women’s Law Center does.”

Witnesses include:

  • Riley Gaines, Ambassador, Independent Women’s Forum; Former Collegiate Athlete
  • Kim Russell, Ambassador, Independent Women’s Forum; Former Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach, Oberlin College

Specific areas of concern that witnesses will highlight include:

  • The danger of denying biological differences between men and women; 
  • The Department of Education’s proposed rule change that, if adopted, would reverse five decades of Title IX regulations to protect equal athletic opportunities for both sexes; and
  • The importance of same-sex spaces for privacy, safety, and equal opportunities.

Witnesses will call upon Congress to:

  • Acknowledge the biological athletic advantages males have over females, as supported by science and common sense; 
  • Take action to stop the Biden administration’s illegal and administrative rewrite of Title IX; and
  • Uphold truth, protecting the dreams of female athletes, and the original meaning of Title IX.

IWF is leading the fight to preserve the integrity of women’s sports. IWF’s Competition: Title IX, Male-Bodied Athletes, and the Threat to Women’s Sports findings confirm the importance of protecting female athletics and Title IX:

  • The Biden administration’s misapplication of Supreme Court precedent not only opens up women’s sports to men, it threatens to undermine the entire legal edifice of single-sex sports;
  • As more and more biological males enter women’s sports, the threat to female athletes is growing; 
  • Allowing males to play women’s sports is unfair because of the incontrovertible male athletic advantage;
  • Allowing hormonally impaired males to take titles from female athletes makes a mockery of women’s sports; and
  • Allowing a single male to play on a competitive women’s team takes opportunities from female athletes.  

House Hearing & Press Conference Details:


  • The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services “The Importance of Protecting Female Athletics and Title IX” Hearing
  • Press Conference to Examine Biden Administration’s Proposed Title IX Rules


  • Hearing: Tuesday, December 5, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. E.T.
  • Press Conference: Tuesday, December 5, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. E.T.


  • Hearing: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2154
  • Press Conference: House Triangle

Media Inquiries: [email protected]

Gaines’s and Russell’s full testimonies will be available HERE at 2:00 p.m. ET.



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