On Thursday, Kansas became is the first state to pass a bill defining a “woman” as someone who is born a biological female. The bill, Senate Bill 180, is meant to preserve single-sex areas such as public restrooms, school sports, prisons, and shelters.
The legislation defines a female as someone “whose biological reproductive system is developed to produce ova,” and a male is defined as anyone whose reproductive system “is developed to fertilize the ova of a female.”
This bill was expectedly met with significant backlash from Democrats who labeled it “offensive” to trans women.
Rep Brandon Woodard (D-Kansas) insisted the bill is “about attacking trans kids in Kansas.”
Republican Senator Renee Erickson pushed back against these accusations, saying it is a “very factual” and “objective” bill.
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Speaking to the Washington Times, Senator Erickson said, “What this [bill] does is simply codify in the law the definition of sex.”
“It simply says that in existing statute or law, where there is a definition of sex, it means biological male and female as determined at birth. That’s very factual, it’s very objective.”
Erickson clarified that the bill “does not create any new rights or entitlements” and does not deal with “gender identity,” nor does it prevent anyone from “living how they choose to live.”
Rep Barbara Wasinger (R-Kansas) also defended the bill, saying it’s “not about [transgender youth,” but rather about things like leveling the playing field in women’s sports.
“It’s not to leave anybody out… It’s not to punish anyone… It’s saying find another way to take care of all the people that need to play sports,” said Wasinger.
Jennifer C. Braceras, the director of the Independent Women’s Law Center, said that the bill “codifies the current constitutional jurisprudence and the intermediate scrutiny standard that we’ve all come to rely on to protect women’s rights, but also to recognize that there are certain situations in which men and women can be separated without violating the constitution… Bathrooms, prisons, sports, domestic-violence shelters, etc.”
Another bill passed by the Kansas Senate, Senate Bill 233, would revoke a physician’s license if they perform gender-reassignment surgery on a minor.