“Transphobic”: Did Josh Hawley say anything wrong?

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Following the overturn of the Roe v Wade case on abortion rights, a senate judicial hearing was held to discuss the impact of the overturn.

Implications from the overturn now suggest that the legality of abortion would be decided at the state level. Many took to the streets to protest the decision, with other political figures taking action to appeal it, as a number of states are against abortion.

Abortion rights have always been known to be women’s rights historically, but with the evolution of our gendered society, which now comprises more than two genders; the notion of abortion being a women’s right stands to be contested – As other gender groups can conceive.

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Per the hearing held on the 12th of July, a mild exchange occurred between Missouri Senator Josh Hawley and a panellist, Professor Khiarra Bridges.


The exchange ensued when Senator Hawley asked a question concerning the capacity of pregnancy by women and men? – A question that, Law professor Dr Bridges found to be transphobic. In her defence, some cis-women are capable of pregnancy and some trans-men are capable of pregnancy if they haven’t undergone surgery. In recognising abortion rights as majorly women’s rights, she believes other gender groups capable of pregnancy were being excluded from the narrative. She later called him out for his line of questioning, calling it ‘transphobic’ since it didn’t recognise other gender groups. Surprised by the statement, he questioned her teaching methods based on her reaction.

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Josh Hawley v Khiarra Bridges: An issue of clarity and misunderstanding?

Josh Hawley may have asked his question innocently for better clarification on his part. Professor Bridges may have also misunderstood his questioning for clarity as a subtle swipe at other genders, to which she retorted by further educating him on what genders are capable of pregnancy. Josh Hawley seemed to make matters worse for himself when he answered that he didn’t believe men could get pregnant. This statement didn’t settle well with Professor Bridges as she explained some trans men were capable of pregnancy.

What is your take on this?

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