WASHINGTON, DC – Amid the furor over the Supreme Court’s potential revocation of the landmark 1973 Roe V. Wade decision protecting abortion rights, a Democratic witness at a hearing on reproductive rights held by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday responded “yes” when asked if they felt that men could “get pregnant” and “have abortions.”
At the hearing, entitled “Revoking your Rights,” Executive Director of abortion rights nonprofit Avow Texas, Aimee Arrambide, and Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) got into a exchange over the definition of the word “woman” and the differences perceived by some between sex and gender as it relates to human reproductive capabilities.
“What do you say a woman is?” Bishop asked Arrambide.
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“I believe that everyone can identify for themselves,” she replied.
“Do you believe that men can become pregnant and have abortions?” Bishop then asked.
“Yes,” Arrambide said.
Afterwards, Bishop and another Democratic witness, Dr. Yashica Robinson – an OBGYN and board member with Physicians for Reproductive Health – got into a heated debate over similar ideas concerning sex and gender.
“Dr. Robinson, I noticed in your written testimony you said that you use she/her pronouns. You’re a medical doctor…what is a woman?” Bishop asked.
“I think it’s important that we educate people like you about why we’re doing the things that we do,” Robinson responded. “And so the reason that I use she and her pronouns is because I understand that there are people who become pregnant that may not identify that way. And I think it is discriminatory to speak to people or to call them in such a way as they desire not to be called.”
“Are you going to answer my question? Can you answer the question, what’s a woman?” Bishop asked.
“I’m a woman, and I will ask you which pronouns do you use?” Robinson replied, saying he would “respect” whatever the Congressman’s answer was. However, Bishop instead pressed the doctor to answer his original question, to which he received the same exact answer.
“Is that as comprehensive a definition as you can give me?” Bishop asked.
“That’s as comprehensive a definition as I will give you today,” Robinson said. “Because I think that it’s important that we focus on what we’re here for, and it’s to talk about access to abortion.”
“So you’re not interested in answering the question that I asked unless it’s part of a message you want to deliver,” Bishop shot back.