WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) joined a panel discussion on Capitol Hill, led by U.S. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, on the importance of protecting Title IX and the threat posed to women’s equal opportunity and spaces – including sports – by the Biden administration’s illegal Title IX rewrite. The event was held in honor of the 52nd anniversary of Title IX, and during National Women’s Sports Week, which takes place annually during the week of June 23, recognizing female athletes for their athletic participation and achievement in sport.

Independent Women’s Forum Chairman Heather R. Higgins and Independent Women’s Forum Ambassador Riley Gaines shared details about the groundswell of bipartisan support for protecting women and girls’ sports that the Our Bodies, Our Sports coalition has given rise to. Formed in 2022, Our Bodies, Our Sports has gained national recognition as the first and only coalition of women’s advocacy groups from across the political spectrum working together to keep women’s sports female and take back Title IX. This week, Our Bodies, Our Sports is wrapping up its four-week national “Take Back Title IX” Summer 2024 Bus Tour. Female athletes, coaches, and other influencers standing up for the rights of women and girls have been traveling coast to coast holding rallies to spread awareness of the changes to Title IX and the threat to women and girls, and to engage the public to apply pressure on Congress to overturn the new Title IX rules.

Panel guests included:

  • Heather R. Higgins, Independent Women’s Forum chairman;
  • Riley Gaines, Independent Women’s Forum ambassador, 12x All-American swimmer, and “Swimming Against The Current” author;
  • Betsy DeVos, former U.S. Secretary of Education;
  • Representative Virginia Foxx, chairwoman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. 

“The Biden administration, with their Alice in Wonderland redefinition of Title IX, is telling the American public ‘Who are you gonna believe, us or your lying eyes?’ We say, believe your eyes, they are not who’s lying. While the administration disingenuously claims that the new rule doesn’t apply to sports, they’ve established the default position that school activities limited to biological women or biological men are presumptively discriminatory. The administration has repeatedly insisted, in court filings and in public pronouncements, that Title IX requires schools to allow trans-identified males to play women’s sports. They can’t have it both ways. Either they use Title IX to force schools to allow men on women’s sports teams, or if they are not, then schools should stop the madness right now,” said Heather R. Higgins.

“The Biden administration is waging the most anti-woman, anti-reality pursuit in history. They are taking the original 37 words of the landmark sex-equality law and creating an entirely new proposal that’s almost half a million words. They are stripping all sex-based protections for women and girls — robbing women of equal opportunity, privacy, and fairness. Equating ‘sex’ with ‘gender identity’ effectively abolishes the original intent of Title IX. This doesn’t enforce Title IX, it violates it,” said Riley Gaines. 

Speaker Johnson: “While the Biden administration has pushed progressive gender ideology to include biological men in women’s sports under Title IX, conservatives in the House are fighting to protect women’s right to compete. We will not stand by and tolerate the erosion of safe, fair, and equal competition in women’s sports. I was proud to host this important conversation with women who have led on this issue to protect women and girls.”

Full event can be watched here.

Independent Women’s Forum’s fight to save women’s sports. Learn more below:

  • Independent Women’s Forum organized the Our Bodies, Our Sports “Take Back Title IX” Summer 2024 Bus Tour. The tour is hitting the road from coast to coast this summer ahead of the Biden administration’s new regulations to activate supporters across the country to take back Title IX and stand up for women’s sports. 
  • IWF and IWLC have produced a first-of-its-kind report entitled, “Competition Report: Title IX, Male-Bodied Athletes, and the Threat To Women’s Sports,” to help athletic associations, policymakers, and courts understand the growing threat to female athletes.
  • IWF and IWLC have filed a landmark lawsuit against Biden’s illegal Title IX rewrite. Learn more about the lawsuit here.
  • In 2022, Independent Women’s Forum, together with its grassroots membership arm Independent Women’s Network, registered an official National Women’s Sports Week observed annually during the week of June 23 to recognize female athletes — past, present, and future — for their athletic participation and achievement in sport. National Women’s Sports Week coincides with the anniversary of Title IX, which transformed sports by guaranteeing women and girls the right to equal athletic opportunity. Last year, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney and Senator Joni Ernst introduced a bicameral resolution to designate the week including June 23, 2023, as National Women’s Sports Week.
  • IWF’s Female Athlete Storytelling drive featuring real stories from real women athletes can be found here.



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.