In a contentious exchange in which an abortion rights advocate and law professor acted patronizingly toward Missouri GOP Senator Josh Hawley, who asked whether her phrase “people with a capacity for pregnancy” simply meant women, the professor accused him of being “transphobic.”
University of California at Berkeley Law professor Khiara Bridges appeared at a hearing held by the Senate Judiciary Committee to examine legal concerns following the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v Wade.
“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 pointed out, then asked bluntly. “Would that be women?”
“Many women, cis women, have the capacity for pregnancy; many cis women do not have the capacity for pregnancy,” Bridges asserted. “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 commented. “It’s a what?”
“We can recognize that this impacts women while also recognizing that it also impacts other groups,” Bridges said loftily. “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 charged, then laughed haughtily before continuing, “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 reacted.
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 started her diatribe.
“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 fired.
“No, I don’t think men can get pregnant,” Hawley said simply.
Smirking, Bridges began, “So you’re denying that trans people exist —”
“And that leads to violence? Is this how you run your classroom?” Hawley shot back. “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 attempted to finish.
“We have a good time in my class,” Bridges boasted.
Hawley said quietly, “I bet.”
Bridges, not done patronizing, said smugly, “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.”
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) July 12, 2022
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