Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Monday signed a law banning transgender students from joining sports teams that align with their gender identity.

Under the new law, students in grades K-12 are required to play on sports teams that match the gender they were assigned on their birth certificate. It will go into effect on Jan. 18.

State Rep. Valoree Swanson (R), who authored the bill, said on Monday that she was "overjoyed" by Abbott's decision to sign the bill into law, according to The Texas Tribune.

“It's so very, very important that we protect everything that women have gained in the last 50 years,” Swanson said.

She has previously argued that the bill serves to uphold the principles of Title IX, which bans discrimination based on sex within the education system. She said 

"We need a statewide, level playing field," Swanson said earlier this month, according to NBC News. “It’s very important that we, who got elected to be here, protect our girls.”

Advocates for transgender students have slammed the bill, saying that it is detrimental to the transgender community, the Tribune noted.

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