Men can get pregnant, law professor tells Senator Hawley

University of California, Berkeley Law Professor Khiara M. Bridges accused Senator Josh Hawley (MO) of being 'transphobic' at a July 12 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Abortion Access and the Law.

Hawley questioned Bridges' use of the euphemism 'people with a capacity for pregnancy.'

University of California, Berkeley Law Professor Khiara M. Bridges accused Senator Josh Hawley (MO) of being “transphobic” at a July 12 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Abortion Access and the Law. 

Hawley questioned Bridges’ use of the euphemism “people with a capacity for pregnancy.”

“Would that be ‘women’?”, Hawley asked.

Bridges, whose research focuses on the intersection of race, class, and reproductive rights, responded by claiming “[m]any women, cis women, have the capacity for pregnancy. Many cis women do not have the capacity for pregnancy. Um, there are also trans men who are capable of pregnancy, as well as nonbinary people who are capable of pregnancy.”

[RELATED: Students haven’t met a pregnant man]

The Missouri Senator then asked what Professor Bridges thought the core of abortion rights was, if not a ‘women’s’ rights issue.

Bridges snapped back, “So, um, I want to recognize that your line of questioning, um, is transphobic [laughs]. And it opens up trans people to violence by not recognizing them.”

She then stated, “I want to note that one out of five transgender persons have attempted suicide.” 

Hawley asked Bridges if simply questioning whether men can get pregnant is denying the existence of trans people.

“Are you? Are you? Are you?”, Bridges shouted.

Professor Bridges then asked Hawley whether or not he thought men could get pregnant, to which Hawley replied “no.” She then charged that Hawley was denying the existence of trans people for not saying that men could get pregnant.

Senator Hawley then asked if Professor Bridges runs her classroom in the same way, without permitting students to ask questions.

In response, she invited Senator Hawley to join her class, saying “oh we have a good time in my class…you might learn a lot.”

Following the hearing, Senator Hawley tweeted about the exchange. 

“The Democrats say what they really think: men can get pregnant and if you disagree, you are ‘transphobic’ and responsible for violence,” Hawley wrote.

He added that “[f]or today’s left, disagreement with them = violence. So you must not disagree.”

When Roe v. Wade was overturned last month, Professor Bridges said in an interview with  Berkeley Research, “For a lot of feminists, today’s decision is offensive because it symbolizes men telling women what to do with their bodies. It’s profoundly anti-feminist.”

Bridges went on to disparage motherhood in the interview, employing the same euphemism that set off the Senate debate.

[RELATED: Most universities issue pro-abortion statements]

A large portion of our society believes that women, people with a capacity of pregnancy — but most have cis-women in mind — ought to be mothers. And being mothers, that’s their place, that’s their role. That if they have sex and they end up pregnant, well, of course you’re going to become a mother because what else are you supposed to do with your life,” Bridges said.

The UC Berkeley Law School told Campus Reform in a statement that, “[t]he University, like every other public institution in this country, does not have the legal ability to censor or sanction employees based on their beliefs or constitutionally protected expression. At the same time, individual employees, including faculty, do not speak for or represent the values, perspectives or positions of the University.”

Campus Reform reached out to Professor Bridges and Senator Hawley for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.