In Tuesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “A Post-Roe America,” Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley made waves in the media when he asked a Democratic witness who repeatedly used the phrase “people with the capacity for pregnancy” whether she meant “women.”
UC Berkeley law professor Khiara Bridges responded by calling Hawley’s line of questioning “transphobic” and said it incited violence against people who identifiy as transgender. But despite the media attention, this wasn’t the most eye-opening moment in the hearing. In fact, even more revealing than the questions the witnesses did answer were the ones they didn’t, which also happened to be the ones Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn asked right after CBS cut off its online coverage.
When Cornyn asked Bridges whether she thought a baby delivered alive had value, she paused and answered “yes.” He then asked the same question about a baby that is not yet born.
“I believe that a person with the capacity for pregnancy has value,” Bridges said. “They have intelligence, they have agency, they have dignity—”
“No, I’m talking about the baby,” Cornyn said.
“And I’m talking about the person with the capacity for pregnancy,” Bridges replied.
When Cornyn said she wasn’t answering his question, she replied, “I’m answering a more interesting question to me.”
Cornyn repeated his question, and Bridges essentially repeated her answer, refusing to say whether she thought a baby has value in the womb.
Illinois Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, another Democrat witness, similarly dodged Cornyn’s question about whether she supported abortion for any reason at any point during pregnancy. Stratton said — and then sternly repeated — that she thinks everyone has the right to make decisions about “what’s best for their life, their body, and their future” but refused to answer the question.
The abortion radicalism on display from the Democrats’ witnesses is out of touch with what most Americans believe. One of the Republican witnesses, Alliance Defending Freedom’s Chief Counsel Denise Harle, told the committee that “nearly 90 percent of Americans oppose abortion in the third trimester, let alone until birth.”
A recent Harvard-Harris poll supports Harle’s claim, showing that only 10 percent of voters support abortion through all nine months of pregnancy. Another new poll illuminates how, although Democrats and the media habitually tout Roe v. Wade as majority-supported, Americans drop their support when they learn what that decision entailed.
When respondents learned that Roe allowed for late-term abortions when babies in utero can feel pain, 56 percent said they opposed the 1973 decision, and only 28 percent supported it. Furthermore, after answering questions about the humanity of unborn babies, a majority (55 percent) of respondents said abortions should be banned between 0 and 6 weeks of pregnancy.
Editor’s note: This article has been corrected to reflect that Juliana Stratton is the lieutenant governor of Illinois, not Michigan.