A University of California law professor accused Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., of being transphobic for saying that only women can get pregnant. The exchange took place during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on abortion when Hawley asked the professor — Khiara M. Bridges of the California-Berkeley School of Law — why she kept avoiding the word “women,” Christian Headlines reported.
“You’ve referred to ‘people with a capacity for pregnancy,’” Hawley said. “Would that be women?”
“Many women — cis women — have the capacity for pregnancy,” Bridges answered. “Many cis women do not have the capacity for pregnancy. There are also trans men who are capable of pregnancy, as well as non-binary people who are capable of pregnancy.”
“So this isn’t really a women’s rights issue,” Hawley said. “It’s a what?”
“We should recognize that this impacts women while also recognizing that it impacts other groups,” Bridges responded. “Those things are not mutually exclusive.”
“Your view is that the core of this right then is about what?” Hawley asked.
Bridges then accused Hawley of crossing a line. “I want to recognize that your line of questioning is transphobic, and it opens up trans people to violence by not recognizing them,” she said.
“You’re saying that I’m opening up people to violence by asking whether or not women are the folks who can have pregnancies?” Hawley asked.
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“I want to note,” Bridges said, “that one out of five transgender persons have attempted suicide.”
“Because of the line of questioning?” Hawley asked. “We can’t talk about it?”
“Because denying that trans people exist and pretending not to know that they exist …” Bridges said.
“I am denying that trans people exist by asking you if you’re talking about women?” Hawley asked.
Bridges then asked the senator, “Do you believe that men can get pregnant?”
“No, I don’t think men can get pregnant,” Hawley answered.
“So you’re denying that trans people exist,” Bridges said
“And that leads to violence?” Hawley asked. “Is this how you run your classroom? Are students allowed to question you or are they also treated like this where they’re told that they’re opening up people to violence by questioning you?”
“They’re allowed to question,” Bridges said. “You should join. You might learn a lot.”
“I would learn a lot,” Hawley said. “I’ve learned a lot during this exchange.”
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice