Mary Margaret Olohan
- The push to “Save Women’s Sports” resulted in a slew of legislation banning biological males from women’s sports and conversations on the national stage about protecting women and girls.
- Now, backed by a network of about 40 independent, state-based organizations called family policy councils, advocacy groups are assembling to battle the next culture war issue.
- “Kids who are hurting and struggling need help, not harm,” Family Policy Alliance’s Meridian Baldacci told the Daily Caller News Foundation, “and that’s why we’re on a mission to help more leaders step up and protect children.”
The battle to “Save Women’s Sports” resulted in a slew of legislation banning biological males from girls’ sports and conversations on the national stage about gender, sex, individual dignity, and much more. Now the advocacy groups behind this push are assembling to battle the next burgeoning culture war issue — transgender sex change surgeries and procedures for minors.
Progressive activists, media, lawmakers, and even some medical professionals call such procedures “gender affirming medical care” and protest that denying an individual this “care” is cruel, regardless of age. Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson vetoed the state’s SAFE Act in April, arguing that the legislation was a “vast government overreach” and that it shouldn’t jump into every ethical issue.
But advocacy groups like the Family Policy Alliance (FPA) insist these procedures irrevocably hurt children. And backed by a network of about 40 independent, state-based family policy councils, FPA aims to multiply the number of states across the nation that legally protect children from gender transition.
“Kids who are hurting and struggling need help, not harm,” FPA’s Meridian Baldacci told the Daily Caller News Foundation, “and that’s why we’re on a mission to help more leaders step up and protect children.”
Some political figures have downplayed the need for policy on hot button issues like transgender procedures or sports, like Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, who vetoed the state’s Fairness in Women’s Sports bill in June and called it “a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana.”
But other governors, like Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, promise they are ready to tackle these issues head on.
“I’m very much opposed to chemical castration of minors, I honestly didn’t know this existed until a few years ago,” DeSantis told the DCNF in early June. “That would be something I would sign for sure.”
The Campaign To ‘Help Not Harm’
The FPA launched the ‘Help Not Harm‘ campaign Wednesday, the DCNF first learned, which aims to educate concerned citizens about gender dysphoria, gender transitions and “meaningful ways to help struggling children” and pushes Americans to call on lawmakers to “join the fight” to protect children.
FPA was instrumental in Arkansas’ battle to pass the SAFE Act: the state legislature ultimately defied the governor’s veto and passed the much disputed legislation that bans physicians from performing gender transition procedures on minors. The state’s actions made global news and pushed Hutchinson to address on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” whether he supports chemical castration for children.
s idea onto children, prescribing them highly experimental drugs with dangerous, long-term side effects and putting them on an irreversible, life-altering path which they are too young to fully comprehend,” Schilling said. “This is a frightening trend which must be opposed.”
WATCH: Tucker Carlson and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson debate the governor's decision to veto a bill banning gender surgeries for minors that was later overridden by the Arkansas state legislature.— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 7, 2021
Gov. Hutchinson says that the bill "invokes the state" in medical decisions. pic.twitter.com/kwzGtTwtle
Saving Women’s Sports
The family policy councils’ prospects of success may seem daunting against challengers like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), but FPA and its cohort of family policy councils have already fought and won the battle over women’s sports in several states.
“The story of Save Girls’ Sports is really a story about the hard work of pro-family advocates and grassroots around the country,” Baldacci told the DCNF. “The family policy movement has known for some time that there was a need to protect girls’ and women’s sports. Over time, states began to introduce legislation to protect girls’ sports – many under the leadership of state family policy councils.”
FPA previously teamed up with family policy councils and lawmakers across the nation to spread awareness and prevent biological males from participating in women’s sports. The groups encouraged citizens to reach out to lawmakers and to the NCAA, to donate to advocacy organizations to support their efforts to protect girls, to speak out on social media so that friends of similar beliefs would realize that they were not alone.
Messaging focused on girls, and protecting girls’ ability to succeed: “College sports are for college athletes,” FPA’s website said. “Professional sports for pro athletes. And female sports should be for female athletes.”
At least 31 states have taken action to ban biological males from participating in female sports: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin all introduced legislation that would biological males in girls sports.
Backed by FPA, Idaho was the first state in the nation to pass the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” in March 2020. The legislation was quickly challenged in April 2020 by the ACLU in a federal court, prompting former President Donald Trump’s Justice Department to file a brief defending the law