Heated debate in US Senate erupts over abortion rights for men
Berkeley professor Khiara Bridges, during a Senate hearing on abortion earlier this week, accused US Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, who said men cannot get pregnant, of being transphobic and denying the existence trans people.
The argument started during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday when the Missouri Republican asked the professor what she meant by: “people with a capacity for pregnancy.” Bridges explained that while there are many women who can get pregnant and those who cannot, there are also “trans men who are capable of pregnancy as well as non-binary people who are capable of pregnancy.”
This led Hawley to ask if abortion – the main issue under discussion at the hearing – is, in her opinion, actually a “women’s right issue.” She responded that the issue affects both women and other groups. Hawley then asked what she thinks the core of the right to abortion actually is.
The Democrats say what they really think: men can get pregnant and if you disagree, you are “transphobic” and responsible for violence pic.twitter.com/44CeIi5WvT— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) July 12, 2022
“I want to recognize that your line of questioning is transphobic. It opens up trans people to violence by not recognizing them,” Bridges replied.
Her answer apparently surprised the senator, who said, “Wow. You’re saying that I’m opening up people to violence by asking whether or not women are the folks who can have pregnancy?”
After a brief exchange in which the law professor insisted that “pretending not to know” that transgender people exist is dangerous, she asked the senator: “So you believe that men cannot get pregnant?” Hawley responded that he doesn’t believe they can.
“Then you are denying that trans people exist. Thank you,” Bridges said.
The senator then asked if this is the way the law professor runs her classroom and if the students are allowed to ask questions there.
“We have a good time in my class. You should join. You might learn a lot,” Bridges replied. Video of the exchange went viral on social media.
The issue of abortion rights has once again become the subject of heated debate in the US, after the Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling on June 24. By doing so, it removed federal abortion protections and placed the responsibility for legalizing, banning, or restricting the procedure back on the states.