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Law Professor Says Sen. Hawley's Question About Pregnancy Opens 'Trans People to Violence' During Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing


An intense clash took place during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing regarding abortion on July 12.

Sen. Josh Hawley was accused of opening transgender people to “violence” by Berkeley Law Professor Khiara Bridges for implying that only women can get pregnant with his line of questioning.

The exchange heated up after Bridges referred to “people with a capacity for pregnancy.”

“You’ve referred to people with a capacity for pregnancy. Would that be women?” the senator asked.

“Many cis women have the capacity for pregnancy. Many cis women do not have the capacity for pregnancy,” Bridges responded. “There are also trans men who are capable of pregnancy as well as nonbinary people who are capable of pregnancy.”

Senator Hawley asked, “your view, the core of this right is about what?”

“I want to recognize that your line of questioning is transphobic, and it opens up trans people to violence,” Bridges responded.

“Wow. Are you saying that I’m opening up people to violence by asking whether or not women can have pregnancies?” Hawley asked.

The professor began to explain that one in five transgender people have attempted suicide, but was stopped by Hawley who asked “because of my line of questioning? So we can’t talk about it?”

Bridges replied that his questions were “denying that trans people exist and pretending not to know that they exist.”

“Do you believe that men can get pregnant?” Bridges fired back.

The senator replied, “no, I don’t think men can get pregnant.”

“So you’re denying that trans people exist,” Bridges claimed.

“And that leads to violence?” Hawley asked, seemingly stunned by her assertions. “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?”

Bridges teaches family law and “reproductive rights and justice.”

The senator later tweeted a clip of the exchange and wrote, “the Democrats say what they really think: men can get pregnant and if you disagree, you are ‘transphobic’ and responsible for violence.”

In a follow up tweet he added, “for today’s left, disagreement with them = violence. So you must not disagree.”

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