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Aimee Arrambide, the executive director of the abortion rights nonprofit Avow Texas, was asked by Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., to define what “a woman is,” to which she responded, “I believe that everyone can identify for themselves.”
“Do you believe that men can become pregnant and have abortions?” Bishop asked.
“Yes,” Arrambide replied.
The remarks from Arrambide followed a tense exchange between Bishop and Dr. Yashica Robinson, another Democrat witness, after he similarly asked her to define “woman.”
Aimee Arrambide testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on May 11, 2020. (YouTube screenshot) (Screenshot/ House Committee on the Judiciary)
“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 Robinson, an OBGYN and board member with Physicians for Reproductive Health.
“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.
Donna Howard and Aimee Arrambide speaks at Making Virtual Storytelling and Activism Personal during the 2022 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Austin Convention Center on March 14, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Hubert Vestil/Getty Images for SXSW)
“I’m a woman, and I will ask you which pronouns do you use?” Robinson replied. “If you tell me that you use she and her pronouns … I’m going to respect you for how you want me to address you.”
“So you gave me an example of a woman, you say that you are a woman, can you tell me otherwise what a woman is?” Bishop asked.
“Yes, I’m telling you, I’m a woman,” Robinson responded.
“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 fired back.
Wednesday’s hearing, titled, “Revoking your Rights,” addressed the threat to abortion rights after the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion signaled the high court is poised to soon strike down Roe v. Wade.