Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed Thursday's bill prohibiting transgender girls from participating in female sports teams, from kindergarten to college.
According to NBC affiliate WHO in Des Moines, Reynolds stated that "This is a victory" before signing the legislation.
According to WHO, the Republican lawmaker was surrounded during the Iowa Capitol signing ceremony by young female athletes. She appeared to refer to transgender girls and women as "males" when she addressed the crowd.
She said that no amount of talent, training, or effort could compensate for the physical advantages males have over their female counterparts. It's just a fact of human biology. It is a violation of inclusivity to force females against males.
After passing the state House by a vote 55-39 last month, the measure passed the Senate 31-17 on Wednesday. Only Republicans voted for it.
Iowa Safe Schools is a group that advocates for LGBTQ youth. It called the legislation "a solution looking for a problem" in order to "petty political points at Iowa's expense of Iowa children."
The organization tweeted: "Today is an awful day in Iowa's History and will be remembered both by our students and their families and voters alike."
The law takes effect immediately
Iowa joins 10 other GOP-led States in restricting transgender students' participation in school sports. These measures were passed by all 11 states in the last two years.
Advocates claim that anti-trans legislation has a negative impact on the well being of LGBTQ youth even if they are not made law.
Morning Consult conducted a poll for The Trevor Project, a LGBTQ youth suicide prevention and crisis intervention agency. It found that 85 percent of transgender youth and two-thirds all LGBTQ youth felt that recent debates over state laws restricting trans rights have had a negative impact on their mental health.