A Missouri representative and Senate candidate is drawing attention over a recent campaign ad condemning “men pretending to be women,” referring to biological males competing on female sports teams.
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by retiring Sen. Roy Blunt’s (R-Mo.), started her commercial by addressing embattled collegiate swimmer Lia Thomas, a biological male competing on the women’s swim team at the University of Pennsylvania.
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“Meet William Thomas — ranked No. 462 in men’s swimming,” Hartzler says. “Meet Lia Thomas — ranked No. 1 in women’s swimming. Only one problem: it’s the same person.”
The lawmaker went on to say some “are afraid to talk about” the transgender issue.
“Not me,” she admitted. “I’m Vicky Hartzler. I ran and coached girls’ track, and I won’t look away while woke liberals destroy women’s sports. Women’s sports are for women. Not men pretending to be women.”
The political ad, which cost six figures, will run in Missouri from Feb. 21 through March 18, coinciding with the NCAA’s winter championships, according to Politico.
Hartzler, a six-term congresswoman, is the only female running in the state’s crowded Republican primary. Over the weekend, she earned an endorsement from Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who had before remained neutral in the race.
In early February, USA Swimming released a new operating policy manual amid the controversy regarding Thomas.
Thomas, as CBN News reported, has caused quite a stir. The biological male’s participation in the UPenn women’s swim team has reinvigorated a nationwide debate over transgender inclusion in sports — particularly over whether biological males should be allowed to compete in spaces designed for biological females.
USA Swimming said “remains steadfast in its continued commitment to greater inclusivity at the non-elite levels.” In a lengthy statement, the organization outlined:
In order to balance these two priorities, specific guidelines have been developed for both non-elite and elite athletes and elite events. At the non-elite level, an inclusive process has been established by which an athlete can elect to change their competition category in order for them to experience the sport of swimming in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity and expression.
At the elite level, a policy has been created for transgender athlete participation in the U.S. that relies on science and medical evidence-based methods to provide a level-playing field for elite cisgender women, and to mitigate the advantages associated with male puberty and physiology. Elite athletes shall include any athlete who has achieved a time standard and desires to participate in elite events as defined in the policy.
The organization went on to explain it will appoint an expert medical panel whose members will oversee athletes’ testosterone levels to ensure they are no higher than 5 nmol/L continuously for at least 36 months before applying to compete.
While Thomas has undergone two years of testosterone-suppressing treatments, some teammates have argued the swimmer — as a biological male — is still exhibits an unfair advantage that cannot be eliminated with hormone treatments.
“It’s not just the difference between two girls and how one might have slightly larger lungs and that gives them a slight advantage,” she told Fox News. “These are monumental advantages that biological males just develop through puberty, and it’s not something that a year of [hormone treatments] can suppress because they still have all the muscle mass they had from the last 20 years.”
Thomas, nevertheless, is slated to compete in the NCAA championships in March. You can read more on that here.
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