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Public comment heard on ‘Save Women’s Sports Act’ for second week at Missouri Capitol


Tuesday, the halls of the Missouri Capitol were again filled with people for and against the "Save Women's Sports Act."

Last week, a House of Representatives committee heard several versions of the bill. This week, a Senate committee is taking up six slightly different versions of the act that would ban transgender students from participating in sports if they identify as a different gender from how they were born.

While the six Republican lawmakers sponsoring these bill argue they're protecting women from unfair competition, Democratic lawmakers questioned whether this is a priority. Sen. Greg Razer (D-Kansas City) asked every presenting senator whether the "kids wanting to run track and field or whatever they want to play" is worth all this trouble.

As those wishing to testify on the bill spilled out into the hallway, the committee limited public comment to one hour in support and one hour in opposition. Both hours were easily filled by the crowd.

Nora Powers, a student athlete from Camdenton, was the first to speak in support of the Save Women's Sports Act. Powers said she accepted a scholarship to continue her sport at a college level, and doesn't want to see that opportunity taken away from future athletes.

"If I have to compete against mediocre males every meet, they consistently out-perform me on a biological advantage," Powers said. "With this being scientifically proven, there'd be no reason for a college coach to give an athletic scholarship to a female athlete when they can give it to males competing against females."

Columbia resident and transgender athlete Amelia Wright testified against the bill. Wright plays on a women's roller derby team and was an athlete her whole life.

"I was afraid that they wouldn't want a transgender woman playing with them, but I was welcomed by my new teammates and before long they were knocking me to the ground same as anyone on the track," Wright said.

Wright came out as transgender in her 20s.

"I would not have become the person that I am today without the opportunities that I've had," Wright said. "In another life, one where I knew that I was transgender and came out as a teenager, I would be denied these same chances."

Article Topic Follows: Missouri Politics

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Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.


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