Today in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) asked Berkeley Law professor Khiara M. Bridges to clarify what she meant by the term 'people with a capacity for pregnancy.' She responded by calling Senator Hawley's line of questioning "transphobic." Below is an excerpt of the exchange:
Hawley: I just want to clear one thing up, Professor Bridges. You said several times, you've used a phrase, I want to make sure I understand what you mean by it. You've referred to people with 'a capacity for pregnancy.' Would that be women?
Bridges: Many women, cis women, have the capacity for pregnancy. 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.
Hawley: So this isn't really a women's rights issue….
Bridges: We can recognize that this impacts women while also recognizing that it impacts other groups. Those things are not mutually exclusive, Senator Hawley.
Hawley: Alright, so your view is that the core of this right then is about what?
Bridges: So I want to recognize that your line of questioning is transphobic. It opens up trans people to violence by not recognizing them.
Hawley: Wow. You're saying that I'm opening up people to violence by asking whether or not women are the folks who can have pregnancies?
Following the hearing, Senator Hawley issued the following statement: