By Corinne Murdock |
On Thursday, Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ-08) introduced a resolution to protect women by preventing gender ideology from redefining biological sex.
Lesko was joined in the resolution by Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), titling it the “Women’s Bill of Rights.” In a press release, Lesko declared that the resolution would not only protect but affirm the importance of women.
“Now more than ever, we must protect women’s rights and combat the left’s attempts to erase women,” stated Lesko.
The resolution would define “sex” as a person’s biological sex from birth, “female” as an individual whose biological reproductive system is developed to fertilize their ova, “woman” and “girl” as human females, and “man” and “boy” as human males. The resolution also would declare that “equal” doesn’t mean “same” or “identical,” and that “separate” didn’t indicate inherent inequality.
With these definitions, the resolution would require schools and all levels and divisions of government to identify subjects of data gathering as either male or female at birth, such as for public health, crime, and economic data. It also would make all policies and laws distinguishing sexes subject to intermediate constitutional scrutiny, a test employed by courts to determine the constitutionality of a statute that negatively impacts certain protected classes. Statutes pass scrutiny if they further an important government interest and employ means of accomplishing that interest that are substantially related to that interest.
Further, the resolution would warrant discrimination in certain circumstances.
“There are legitimate reasons to distinguish between the sexes with respect to athletics, prisons or other detention facilities, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, locker rooms, restrooms, and other areas where biology, safety, and/or privacy are implicated,” stated the resolution.
Lesko and Hyde-Smith first introduced the resolution last May, in the 117th Congress. It was referred to the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Subcommittee last November, but never made it any further. During a press conference last year, Lesko argued that the necessity of her resolution proved that the country has gone “to hell in a handbasket.”
“The world is totally upside down when I have to introduce legislation to define a woman versus a man,” said Lesko. “More and more often our colleagues on the left are trying to erase women.”
That version of the Women’s Bill of Rights was included in the Republican Study Committee (RSC) Family Policy Agenda ahead of the midterm elections. The agenda issued over 80 recommendations to better align the GOP with its goal of advancing families’ interests, focusing on child protections, increased economic power for working families, additional parental rights, increased flexibility to child care, elimination of policies discouraging family formation, incentives to work, school choice, higher education reforms, foster care and adoption reforms, and abortion abolition.
The RSC was established 50 years ago for the purpose of coordinating research efforts by conservative congressmen.
Lesko and Hyde-Smith were assisted in crafting the resolution by the Independent Women’s Law Center and Independent Women’s Voice, two related women’s advocacy organizations.
Independent Women’s Law Center Director Jennifer Braceras said that rooting out sex discrimination won’t be possible without proper definitions of biological sex.
“We can’t fight sex discrimination if we can’t agree on what it means to be a woman. And we can’t collect accurate data regarding public health, medicine, education, crime, and the economic status of women if we redefine sex to mean ‘gender identity,’” said Braceras.