Ripple Effects: Texas Beats Title IX Rewrite, Billboards Tell the Story of Those Almost Aborted

By Nancy Flory Published on June 19, 2024

Texas Wins Lawsuit Against Biden Administration’s Title IX Rewrite

The Biden administration rewrote Title IX to force public schools and universities nationwide to allow men to use women’s locker rooms, bathrooms, and compete directly against them in women’s athletics. Those that don’t face the loss of federal funding as a punitive measure.

But that sort of thing isn’t going to fly in Texas. Last week, a Fort Worth federal district judge put a stop to that. 

On June 11, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor signed an order binding the government from enforcing any new “guidance” documents on Texas schools forcing them to allow such things.

“Rather than promote the equal opportunity, dignity, and respect that Title IX demands for both biological sexes, Defendants’ Guidance Documents do the opposite in an effort to advance an agenda wholly divorced from the text, structure, and contemporary context of Title IX,” O’Connor wrote. “Not to mention, recipients of Title IX funding — including Texas schools — will face an impossible choice: revise policies in compliance with the Guidance Documents but in contravention of state law or face the loss of substantial funding. Thus, to allow Defendants’ unlawful action to stand would be to functionally rewrite Title IX in a way that shockingly transforms American education and usurps a major question from Congress. That is not how our democratic system functions.”

O’Connor clarified that his order does not take away students’ rights to use whichever gender facility they may choose — it only restricts the government’s actions. “To be clear, this Order does not encourage the outright deprivation of any student’s rights. Rather, this Order clarifies that the Department lacks authority to redefine ‘sex’ in a way that conflicts with Title IX.”

O’Connor went on to say that the proper way to handle the issue is through elected officials, “who must follow the proper legal procedures to initiate any desired change.”

“Texas sent a clear message to the Biden administration: you don’t mess with Texas women and girls!” Mary Elizabeth Castle, director of government relations for Texas Values, a conservative public policy organization based in Austin, said in a statement. “The Department of Education must wave their white flag in their war on women and stop robbing girls of their athletic opportunities, scholarships, and right to privacy.”

Texas is not the only state that’s fed up with the Biden administration’s overrreach on Title IX. Earlier this week, a federal judge in Kentucky issued a similar ruling siding with complaints from the attorneys general of Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, and West Virginia. In the lawsuit they filed in April, the chief legal officers for those six states said the Biden administration was using its “rulemaking power to convert a law designed to equalize opportunities for both sexes into a far broader regime of its own making.” 

Students for Life of America Launches ALMOST ABORTED Billboard Campaign

Pro-Life Generation (PLG) and Students for Life of America (SFLA) launched a national billboard campaign to tell the stories of those whose lives nearly ended before they began.

The ALMOST ABORTED campaign began in New York City’s Times Square June 7, and now can be seen in Florida, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri, and Arizona.

And the stories are as different as those telling them.

One mom was encouraged to “kill two birds with one stone” and get an “amniocentesis that would likely cause a miscarriage” of her baby with Down syndrome. Another woman was encouraged to get an abortion after receiving an incorrect fetal diagnosis. A third survived a “botched” abortion. Altogether, the campaign tells fourteen stories.

The Times Square digital billboards featured rotating story lines. They included, “I was Raped & Pressured to Abort my Child. Hear My Story at AlmostAborted.Life/Angela” and “I have a Deformed Left Arm because an Abortionist Attempted to Abort Me. Hear My Story at AlmostAborted.Life/Josiah,” among others.

Credit: Students for Life of America.

Watch their stories at AlmostAborted.Life.

The campaign is live now in Florida, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri, and Arizona; the Florida and Arizona billboards appear in both Spanish and English. (Want to help get a billboard in your state? Visit AlmostAborted.Life.) The digital billboards will stay up through the 2024 presidential election.

“Our goal was to get them in more ‘purple’ areas,” SFLA Executive Vice President Tina Whittington told The Stream. “There hasn’t been a huge message push from the pro-life movement to combat that narrative — ‘Well, women need abortion because maybe they’ll get raped,’ or ‘They need abortion because maybe their child has Down syndrome and that baby will need to be aborted.’ We’re trying to show, actually, ‘Here are stories of people who were born because their mothers chose life.’ That’s the goal. To tell the other side and move people who are maybe in the middle on abortion.”

PLG, an umbrella organization which includes SFLA and Students for Life Action, is the nation’s largest pro-life youth organization, serving more than 1,400 campus groups in all 50 states. 

National Celebrate Life Weekend in D.C.

The National Celebrate Life Weekend, celebrating the second anniversary of the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling which overturned Roe v. Wade, will take place June 21-23 in Washington, D.C. Several pro-life organizations will participate in the events this weekend to commemorate the anniversary.

Saturday’s National Celebrate Life Day Rally will take place June 22 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. from 10 a.m. to noon Eastern Time. Speakers include Students for Life of America SFLA President Kristan Hawkins; Daily Wire personality Matt Walsh; U.S. Rep. Bob Good (R-VA); 40 Days for Life President Shawn Carney; and many more. It is open to the public.

The National Celebrate Life Gala will take place Friday, June 21. A conference will be held from Friday through Sunday, June 23, simultaneously with a training session to rally the youth vote. Registration for these events are closed. 

“We’re going to celebrate some everyday heroes” in the pro-life movement, said SFLA Executive Vice President Tina Whittington, “the people in the movement that maybe aren’t on the national stage, who people might know locally but no one really knows their story.” Whittington added that the pro-life movement needs the people who made big changes, like Dr. Mildred Jefferson — the first black woman to graduate from Harvard and a staunch pro-life activist — as well as everyday people who roll up their sleeves and gets in the trenches. 

“Last year’s National Celebrate Life Day was a moving experience, celebrating the end of an injustice and the beginning of new opportunity for change,” said Hawkins. “Still, we are in a marathon, not a sprint, for the hope that the more than 65 million lives lost will not be joined by countless more. This is the human rights issue of our day.”

 

Nancy Flory, Ph.D., is a senior editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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