In the first 2020 Democratic presidential debate on Wednesday, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Julián Castro said that “reproductive justice” involves allowing “trans females” to get abortions. Even in terms of pandering to the transgender community, this was a huge fail.
“I don’t believe only in reproductive freedom. I believe in reproductive justice,” Castro declared. “Just because a woman, or let’s also not forget someone in the trans community, a trans female, is poor doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the right to exercise this right to choose.” He went on to pledge that he would appoint judges who would uphold Roe v. Wade (1973).
In this brief statement, the former HUD secretary not only supported taxpayer funding for abortion, overturning the Hyde Amendment (which protects pro-life taxpayers from having their money being used to fund abortion). Castro also mixed up the meaning of transgender identities.
According to transgender identity, gender identity is more real than biological sex. A “transgender male” refers to a biological female who identifies as male. A “transgender female” refers to a biological male who identifies as female.
While transgender activists would call for abortion access for transgender people, they would demand it for “transgender men,” not “transgender women.” It is impossible for a “transgender female” to get an abortion, unless he gets a womb transplant.
Feminist author Sady Doyle called his error “a wild rollercoaster of emotion.”
“Castro supports overturning Hyde and confuses trans women with trans men in the same sentence, which is a wild rollercoaster of emotion,” she tweeted.
Castro supports overturning Hyde and confuses trans women with trans men in the same sentence, which is a wild rollercoaster of emotion
— Sady Doyle (@sadydoyle) June 27, 2019
Yet transgender activist Charlotte Clymer was just happy to see the transgender community mentioned. “Julian Castro went out of his way to specifically mention trans people’s access to reproductive care and justice on national television, and I am definitely making a donation tonight,” Clymer tweeted.
Julian Castro went out of his way to specifically mention trans people's access to reproductive care and justice on national television, and I am definitely making a donation tonight.#DemDebate
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) June 27, 2019
“Did Castro just say Trans Females have a right to an abortion? What?” Mark Hemingway tweeted.
Did Castro just say Trans Females have a right to an abortion? What?
— Mark Hemingway (@Heminator) June 27, 2019
Yes, he did.
Yet transgender activism may not be the winning issue Castro thinks it is. Lesbians have opposed the Equality Act, claiming that it would be a “human rights violation,” depriving women of privacy and other rights based on biological sex.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.