Arizona GOP Rep. Debbie Lesko reintroduces Women’s Bill of Rights

Three Arizona GOP lawmakers introduced the so-called "Women's Bill of Rights" but critics say it hurts the transgender community.
Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 8:49 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Arizona Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (R-8th District) is one of three Republican members of the U.S. House who recently introduced the Women’s Bill of Rights. “Women’s rights are under attack,” Lesko said.

That’s why Lesko says she needed to reintroduce the bill after failing to get it through Congress last year. “It’s important for women and girls to have their own spaces for privacy and safety reasons,” she said.

The Bill of Rights has a list of declarations, including that “inconsistencies in court rulings and policy initiatives with respect to the definitions of ‘sex,’ ‘male,’ ‘female,’ ‘man,’ and ‘woman’ have led to endangerment of single-sex spaces and resources.” In addition, it affirms that “for purposes of state/federal law, a ‘female’ is an individual whose biological reproductive system is developed to produce ova (reproductive cells),” and only a female can get pregnant and give birth. “Yet another attempt to attack the safety and well-being of the transgender community,” Andi Young said.

Young is the parent of a transgender Arizona high school student. She says she already sees firsthand the discrimination towards transgender children. She adds whether or not Lesko’s Bill of Rights becomes law, simply introducing it sends a message that everyday activities like using the bathroom become something all transgender people have to worry about. “That takes a toll on their well-being, as well as putting them at risk for further discrimination and harassment,” Young said.

Lesko maintains she is not discriminating towards anyone; she wants to defend women’s rights. “The Democrats in the rules of the House of Representatives eliminated the words ‘her, she,’” she said. “That’s just getting ridiculous. It’s erasing women.”

Young has a message for Lesko: talk to people with a transgender family member. “They are not a threat to women, they are not a threat to women’s lives,” Young said. “They are just people that are trying to exist.”

Last year, Lesko’s bill failed to get through a Democratic majority House. But she’s hopeful now that the House has a Republican majority. However, she also admits President Biden would likely prevent this bill from becoming law.