Josh Hawley called transphobic
Sen. Josh Hawley got into a heated exchange with a law professor from Berkeley over who can be pregnant during a Senate hearing on abortion Tuesday.
Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, asked Bridges, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, why she used the phrase “people with the ability to get pregnant” when describing the effects of abortion restrictions and bans.
“I’ve been referring to people who have the ability to get pregnant – will they be women?” asked Hawley.
Bridges responded that many women who match their sex specified at birth are capable of becoming pregnant and that many do not.
Choira Bridges, in her testimony as an expert on race and reproductive rights, described the Missouri Republican senator’s questioning line as “transphobic.”
During the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the abortion restriction case — Dobbs v. Women’s Health Organization — which prompted the Supreme Court to dismantle the Roe v. Wade case last month.
“There are also transgender men who are able to get pregnant as well as non-binary people who are able to get pregnant,” she said, referring to people who are not identified as male or female.
Hawley replied, “So this isn’t really a women’s rights issue?”
“We can recognize that this affects women while also recognizing that it affects other groups, those things are not mutually exclusive, Senator Hawley said,” Bridges said.
Hawley continued to pressure Bridges, asking her about the essence of the right to abortion.
“So I want to realize that your interrogation is transphobic,” Bridges replied.
“And that opens up to transgender people to violence,” she continued, but then Hawley cut her off and the two began a tense exchange.
“Wow,” said Hawley. “You’re saying I’m going to make people subject to violence by asking whether or not women are the ones who can get pregnant.”
“No, I don’t think men can bear,” said Hawley.
“So you deny the existence of transgender people,” she said. “Thank you.”
– “Is this how you run your classroom? Are students allowed to question you or are they also treated as such?”
Bridges replied, “We had a great time in my class. You should join. You might learn a lot.”