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Former NCAA Swimmer’s Testimony Sheds Light on Impact of Transgender Athletes in Women’s Locker Room

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In a compelling and heartfelt testimony before a House Judiciary subcommittee, former NCAA Division 1 swimmer, Paula Scanlan, recounted her experience as a member of the University of Pennsylvania women’s swim team alongside transgender swimmer Lia Thomas.

The hearing, which focused on “gender-affirming care for minors,” provided Scanlan with an opportunity to voice her concerns about the impact of Thomas’ presence in the team’s locker room, especially considering her own history as a survivor of sexual assault.

Scanlan, now a spokesperson and adviser for the Independent Women’s Forum, opened her statement with a stirring revelation. She highlighted how university officials appeared to dismiss the team’s apprehensions, insisting that Thomas’ participation on the team was non-negotiable, according to reports from Fox News.

During her testimony, Scanlan shed light on the sensitive issue of changing and undressing in the presence of a biologically male individual. With emotion in her voice, she described how some team members resorted to using bathroom stalls or family bathrooms to avoid undressing in front of Thomas.

Furthermore, expressing her frustration, Scanlan disclosed how the athletic department seemingly disregarded their concerns and offered psychological services instead, aiming to acclimate them to the situation.

One poignant moment was when Scanlan discussed an op-ed she had written for the student paper, which delved into the scientific differences between biological males and females. To her surprise, the article was later retracted without her knowledge which is something we are seeing across many University’s today. A disturbing pattern of the erosion of free speech has been very common in the last three years.

Scanlan also underscored the broader implications of this issue, lamenting the erosion of women’s spaces and opportunities in the pursuit of equality and safety. As a survivor of sexual assault, she stressed that Thomas’ presence in the locker room went beyond matters of fair competition; it affected the well-being of those with histories of trauma.

“I was sexually assaulted on June 3rd of 2016. I was only 16 years old. I was able to forgive my attacker but violence against women still exists. Let us not forget the viral MeToo movement that empowered female victims to speak up. It casts a spotlight on the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and abuse, including in scholarly and educational institutions,” Scanlan shared, with a voice that carried the weight of her experiences and those of others.

The hearing brought to light the complexities surrounding “gender-affirming care” and the role of parents in making decisions. The testimony of Paula Scanlan gave a voice to those whose concerns and experiences demand careful consideration in the ongoing conversations about gender identity and fair competition in sports.

As the nation continues to grapple with the issue of transgender athletes in women’s sports, the story of Paula Scanlan and her courageous testimony reminds us of the human element at the heart of this debate and the importance of finding thoughtful and compassionate solutions moving forward.

Follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC for more!

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Economy

Biden Administration Expands Obamacare Coverage for ‘Dreamers’

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Friday morning the Biden administration announced it is expanding health-care access for “Dreamers”, a select group of illegal immigrants brought to the country as children. Illegal immigrants enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be granted access to health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, according to the White House. Beginning in November, DACA members will be able to apply for healthcare coverage on healthcare.gov and state level insurance marketplaces.

“I’m proud of the contributions of Dreamers to our country and committed to providing Dreamers the support they need to succeed,” President Joe Biden said in a prepared statement. “And that’s why today we are taking this historic step to ensure that DACA recipients have the same access to health care through the Affordable Care Act as their neighbors.”

National Review notes Biden was vice president when then-president Barack Obama created DACA through executive order over a decade ago. The program gives deportation protections and work visas to illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. An estimated 580,000 people are enrolled in the program. Former president Donald Trump failed to put an end to DACA during his term and the program continues to be fought in court.

Over 100,000 DACA beneficiaries will purchase health insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace and Basic Health Program created by the Affordable Care Act, the Department of Health and Human Services estimates. Access to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program will not be incorporated into the White House’s new rule after Biden proposed doing so last year, according to National Review.

“Now as Vice President, I have worked alongside President Biden to take steps to preserve and fortify DACA. Today, we are building on this progress by ensuring DACA recipients also have access to affordable health care, which will improve the health of all communities,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in a prepared statement. “This announcement will bring relief to more than 100,000 people and help them thrive while working to achieve their aspirations.”

The White House did not share a cost estimate for the expansion of Obamacare to DACA recipients. They will be eligible for financial assistance to help them afford the health insurance DACA enrollees are now eligible to purchase.

Biden called for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform and to give Dreamers permanent citizenship. It’s unlikely that Congress will grant Biden’s wishes, given the failure of the Senate’s bipartisan immigration package earlier this year. Conservatives widely rejected the Senate’s proposal for not being tough enough on the southern border at a time when record levels of illegal immigrants are entering the country.

Immigration is a top issue for voters in the 2024 election because of the surge in border crossings under Biden’s watch. Polls indicate that Americans believe that Trump is better suited to handle the crisis at the southern border with his hardline approach.

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