Berkeley law professor confronts Sen. Josh Hawley over 'transphobic' comments

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) speaks with Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) during a hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on July 12, 2022 in Washington, DC. The Judiciary Committee heard from both abortion rights and anti (Getty Images)

UC Berkeley Law Professor Khiara Bridges went head-to-head with Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley in a public hearing on Tuesday morning. 

During the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing aimed at addressing concerns following Roe v. Wade being overturned, Bridges' accused Hawley of being "transphobic". 

The discussion on abortion access between the two quickly became tense as Hawley and Bridges debated who is able to become pregnant. Bridges had said pregnancy and abortions are issues that affect trans men as well as women.

Bridges warned that Hawley's line of questioning "opens up trans-people to violence."

Hawley, meanwhile, dismissed Bridges' concerns about the trans community.

"Now Professor Bridges, you’ve used a line several times that I want to make sure I understand," said Hawley. "You’ve referred to people with a capacity for pregnancy. Would that be women?" 

"Women have the capacity for pregnancy," answered Bridges. "There are also trans men who are capable of pregnancy and non-binary people who are capable of pregnancy."

"I’m denying that trans people exist by asking if women can have pregnancies?" asked Hawley. 

Bridges then began briefly questioning Hawley. "You believe that men can get pregnant?" asked Bridges.

The two began talking over each other toward the end of the discussion.  

"No, I’m not saying that," said Hawley.

"So you’re denying that trans people exist. Thank you," said Bridges. 

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Hawley went on, asking Bridges if she runs her classroom in the same way that she addressed him.

"We have a good time in my class," Bridges answered. "You should join. You’d learn a lot."

"I bet I would learn a lot," said Hawley while chuckling. "I've learned a lot during this exchange. Extraordinary."

In a Tweet later, Hawley said "Democrats say what they really think… and if you disagree you are 'transphobic' and responsible for violence."

Halwey and Bridges have not responded to KTVU's inquires for comment.