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DAVENPORT, IOWA - OCTOBER 31: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks at a campaign event on October 31, 2020 in Davenport, Iowa (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)Mario Tama/Getty Images

DES MOINES, Iowa (LifeSiteNews) ­­– Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed legislation banning males who claim to be female from competing in women’s and girls’ school sports, making Iowa the eleventh state to enact such a law.

The Republican governor signed the bill at a ceremony Thursday, calling the measure “a victory for girls’ sports in Iowa.”

“No amount of talent, training or effort can make up for the natural physical advantages males have over females. It’s simply a reality of human biology,” said Reynolds. “Forcing females to compete against males is the opposite of inclusivity and it’s absolutely unfair.”

The governor’s office noted that the bill, HF 2416, protects girls’ sports “at all school levels, including high school and collegiate levels in Iowa.”

HF 2416 requires sports and athletic events sponsored or sanctioned by public or private schools, including colleges affiliated with the NCAA or NAIA, to be designated as female, male, or co-ed. Athletes may only compete according to their biological sex, as documented by a birth certificate issued at or around the time of birth.

“Only female students, based on their sex, may participate in any team, sort, or athletic event designated as being for females, women, or girls,” the bill states.

Under the bill, students who suffer “direct or indirect harms” as a result of having to compete against a member of the opposite sex can sue schools or other educational organizations for damages. Students can also bring civil action if they face retaliation for reporting a violation.

“As a woman, a mother of three daughters, and now a grandmother of three young girls, it worries me that this bill is needed at all,” Reynolds said Thursday. “It’s hard to imagine how anyone who cares about the rights of women and girls could support anything less.”

HF 2416 passed along party lines and takes effect immediately.

Ten other states, including Florida, Texas, and Tennessee, have enacted similar laws in the past two years. In South Dakota, Gov. Kristi Noem signed sports fairness legislation into law last month.

The issue has sparked national outrage as males who say that they identify as “transgender,” backed by pro-LGBT athletic associations like the NCAA, have taken dozens of athletic opportunities and championship titles from female athletes across the country in recent years.

Men significantly outpace females in athletic competitions due to inborn physical advantages, regardless of the use of transgender hormones,  studies have found.