During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing over the legal concerns following the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v Wade, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley (R) was accused of being “transphobic” by University of California at Berkeley Law professor Khiara Bridges for asking Bridges to clarify if she was referring to women when she said “people with a capacity for pregnancy.”
“Professor Bridges, you’ve said several times; you’ve used a phrase; I just want to make sure I understand what you mean by it. 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; many cis women do not have the capacity for pregnancy,” Bridges claimed. “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 noted. “It’s a what?”
“We can recognize that this impacts women while also recognizing that it also impacts other groups,” Bridges said. “Those things are not mutually exclusive, Senator Hawley.”
“So your view is that the Court — this right, then, is about what?” Hawley asked.
“So I want to recognize that your line of questioning is transphobic,” Bridges said. “And it opens up trans people to violence by not recognizing them —”
“Wow, you’re saying that I’m opening up people to violence by asking whether or not women are the only folks who can have pregnancies?” Hawley interjected.
Bridges deflected, “So I wanna note that one out of five transgender persons has attempted suicide. So I think it’s important —”
“Because of my line of questioning? So we can’t talk about it?” Hawley asked.
“Because denying that trans people exist and pretending not to know that they exist,” Bridges said.
“I’m denying that trans people exist by asking you if you’re talking about women having pregnancies?” Hawley repeated in disbelief.
“Are you? Are you? Are you? Do you believe that men can get pregnant?” Bridges asked.
“No, I don’t think men can get pregnant,” Hawley said.
Bridges began, “So you’re denying that trans people exist —”
“And that leads to violence? Is this how you run your classroom?” Hawley interjected. “Are students allowed to question you —”
“Absolutely,” Bridges interrupted.
“— or are they also treated like this, where they’re told that they’re opening up people to violence by questioning —” Hawley continued.
“We have a good time in my class,” Bridges claimed.
Hawley said, “I bet.”
Bridges said, “You should join. You might learn a lot.”
Hawley concluded, “Wow. I would learn a lot. I’ve learned a lot in this exchange. Extraordinary.”
Berkeley Law Professor Khiara Bridges: "Do you believe that men can get pregnant?"
Sen. Josh Hawley: "No, I don't think men can get pregnant."
Bridges: "So, you're denying that trans people exist." pic.twitter.com/WIFEqfMeaH
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) July 12, 2022
The hearing was the second time in recent weeks that someone testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee has failed to understand basic biology. In May, then-Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson said that she was unable to define the word “woman” because she was “not a biologist.”
“Can you provide a definition for the word ‘woman’?” Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) asked.
“Can I provide a definition?” Jackson repeated the question.
“Mmhmm, yeah,” Blackburn confirmed.
“I can’t,” Jackson replied.
“You can’t?” Blackburn asked.
“Not — in this context, I’m not a biologist,” Jackson laughed.
BLACKBURN: “Can you define ‘woman’?”
JACKSON: “I’m not a biologist. I’m a judge.” pic.twitter.com/keCO0PE45I
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) March 23, 2022
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