Sparks flew when Hawley tried to get a straight answer on what Bridges had repeatedly referred to as “people with the capacity for pregnancy” which, in the reality-based world that has existed since the dawn of human activity on the planet, has meant women.
Seeking to clear something up, Hawley asked, “Professor Bridges, you said several times, you’ve used a phrase I want to make sure I understand what you mean by it, you referred to people with a capacity for pregnancy, would that be women?”
“Many women, 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 non-binary people who are capable of pregnancy.”
Hawley followed up, “So this isn’t really a women’s rights issue…”
“We can recognize that this impacts women while also recognizing that it impacts other groups,” Bridges said, “these things are not mutually exclusive, Senator Hawley.
“So, your view is that the core of this, this right then is about what?” Hawley asked.
Bridges then jumped the track, “So, I want to recognize that your line of questioning is transphobic, and it opens up trans people to violence by not recognizing them.”
An incredulous Hawley asked, “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?”
She responded, “I want to note that one out of five transgender persons have attempted suicide,” admitting that transgender individuals are often mentally troubled, a ‘what came first, the chicken or the egg?’ question that has been the subject of much debate.
“Because of my line of questioning? So we can’t talk about it?” Hawley asked of Bridges.
She shot back, “Because denying that trans people exist and pretending not to know that they exist.”
Hawley replied, “I’m denying that trans people exist by asking if you are asking women having pregnancies?”
“Do you believe that men can get pregnant?” Bridges asked.
“No, I don’t think men can get pregnant,” Hawley answered.
“So you are denying that trans people exist,” Bridges exclaimed. “Thank you.”
“And that leads to violence? Hawley asked. “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?”
“You should join, you might learn a lot,” she invited him to sign up for her classes.
“Wow, I would learn a lot. I’ve learned a lot just from this exchange, extraordinary,” Hawley said.
Here’s the exchange that happened moments before with Cornyn where the witness used the phrase “person with a capacity for pregnancy” 5 times in one minute.pic.twitter.com/eYaOYumYSJ
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) July 12, 2022