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bitchy | Josh Hawley got transphobic about terms like ‘pregnant people’

Yesterday, the January 6th Committee was conducting yet another hearing about the terrorist attack on our country. The focus of yesterday’s hearing was the organization and management of various white supremacist terrorist groups. Senator Josh Hawley was part of that – he was a huge part of the Stop the Steal “movement” and he actively encouraged and managed the white supremacist terrorists arrival in Washington and the fact that they stormed the Capitol. Unfortunately, Hawley was not part of the Jan. 6th hearing. Instead, he was taking part in a different committee hearing on abortion rights. He decided to get transphobic about Professor Khiara Bridges’ testimony, where she used the correct terms “pregnant people” or “people with the capacity for pregnancy.”

During a Senate hearing on the future of abortion rights Tuesday, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) became the latest Republican lawmaker to use transphobic rhetoric to rile up the GOP’s base — and to avoid wrestling with the consequences of abortion restrictions across the country.

Hawley, in his line of questioning, asked one of the witnesses — UC Berkeley Law Professor Khiara Bridges — why she kept using the term “people with a capacity for pregnancy” when she was describing who would be affected by bans and restrictions on abortion. “Would that be women?” Hawley asked.

Bridges explained that she was using this term to be inclusive of different groups who would be affected by these laws. “Many cis women have the capacity for pregnancy, many cis women do not have the capacity for pregnancy,” Bridges explained. “There are also trans men who are capable of pregnancy as well as non-binary people who are capable of pregnancy.”

“So this isn’t really a women’s rights issue, it’s a — ” Hawley countered.

“We can recognize that this impacts women while also recognizing that it impacts other groups. Those things are not mutually exclusive,” said Bridges. Hawley then went on to ask what she thought the “core of this right” was about. At that point, Bridges noted that his remarks limited who the conversation about abortion rights should be centered on.

“I want to recognize that your line of questioning is transphobic, and it opens up trans people to violence,” said Bridges, who went on to cite studies about the high attempted suicide rate among trans people. Hawley expressed skepticism that his remarks would contribute to violence, prompting Bridges to note that he was denying trans people’s existence.

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

“No, I don’t think men can get pregnant,” Hawley said.

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

“And that leads to violence?” Hawley said.

[From Vox]

The whole exchange is infuriating, although I appreciate that Professor Bridges decided that she had the time. It’s asinine that a terrorist like Hawley is still a sitting senator and that he’s using his position to A) be transphobic, B) dog-whistle to his transphobic base, C) create a transphobic sideshow in an abortion rights hearing and D) actively pursue and legislate hate, misogyny, forced-birtherism and transphobia. We are in such a dark time.

Photos courtesy of Cover Images.

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