Law Professor Khiara Bridges Accuses Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Transphobic Line During Hearing

Law professor Khiara Bridges accused Republican Senator Josh Hawley of being transphobic during a hearing on the legal consequences of the Supreme Court decision to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling that granted abortion rights.

Bridges, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, called Hawley’s line of questioning transphobic when he effectively denied that transgender men and nonbinary people existed and are affected by the Supreme Court ruling.

The tense exchange, which has gone viral, captured a larger debate over inclusive language in the abortion rights movement.

Hawley questioned Bridges, who was invited to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 12, why she used the phrase “people with a capacity for pregnancy.”

“Would that be women?” Hawley asked.

Bridges replied that many cisgender women have the capacity for pregnancy while many do not, adding that transmen and non-binary people were also capable of pregnancy.

Hawley responded, “So, this isn’t really a women’s rights issue?”

Bridges answered, “We can recognize that this impacts women while also recognizing that it impacts other groups, those things are not mutually exclusive.”

“I want to recognize that your line of questioning is transphobic and it opens up trans people to violence by not recognizing them,” Bridges added, noting that one in five transgender people have attempted suicide.

“Denying that trans people exist and pretending not to know that they exist is dangerous,” Bridges said.

Bridges then directly asked Hawley if he believes that men can get pregnant. He replied that he does not.

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

Hawley then asked if the exchange is how Bridges runs her classroom and treats her students.

“We have a good time in my class. You should join. You might learn a lot,” Bridges replied.

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