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A Post-Roe America: The Legal Consequences of the Dobbs Decision

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Berkeley law professor Khiara Bridges owned fist-pumping, insurrectionist supporting Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) during a hearing Tuesday (Juy 12) about the overturning of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade. 

During the hearing, which veered off into conversations about trans persons and their ability for pregnancy, Bridges gave back Hawley everything he asked for and more. 

“You’ve referred to ‘people with a capacity for pregnancy’,” he said. “Would that be women?”

Bridges replied: “Many women, cis women, have the capacity for pregnancy. Many cis women do not have the capacity for pregnancy. There are also trans men who are capable of pregnancy, as well as non-binary people who are capable of pregnancy.”

While Republicans have sought to minimize the rights and abilities of transpersons, there has also been a rise in crimes and specifically murders against transpeople in America. According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 19 transgender people have been killed by violence this year alone. 2021 was the deadliest year for transgender and gender non-conforming people in the U.S. on record. At least 50 trans and gender non-conforming people were killed, per the HRC—via Time Magazine. 

In their exchange Bridges schooled Hawley—his fellow Republicans and many other Americans on why Trans Rights are Human Rights which are American Rights, per The Guardian

Hawley said: “So this isn’t really a women’s rights issue. It’s … it’s what?”

Bridges said: “We can recognize that this impacts women while also recognising that it impacts other groups, those things are not mutually exclusive, Senator Hawley.”

She added: “I want to recognize that your line of questioning is transphobic and it opens up trans people to violence by not recognizing them.”

Hawley said: “You’re saying that I’m opening up people to violence by asking whether or not women are the folks who can have pregnancies?”

Bridges said: “I want to note that one out of five transgender persons have attempted suicide. Denying that trans people exist and pretending not to know that they exist is dangerous.”

Hawley attempted to minimize Bridges saying that he hopes that her students are able to speak in her class. She responded that he should come to her class and learn. “It’s important that Professor Bridges lifted the visibility of the experience of trans men and nonbinary people with pregnancy,” Cynthia Soohoo a law professor at the City University of New York School of Law and the co-director of the Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic, told Yahoo News. “Transgender and nonbinary individuals should have access to the full range of reproductive health care, including family planning and prenatal and pregnancy care, in a welcoming and nondiscriminatory environment.”

“Professor Bridges refused to give in to Sen. Hawley’s attempt to create a ‘gotcha’ moment for his Twitter feed,” she added. “She schooled him and hopefully educated the public about transgender issues. I’d love to be in her class.”