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Woman Under Fire

Women and men are not the same, and they are no more interchangeable in a republic than they are in the natural family.

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Supreme Court Roe v Wade Opinion
Khiara Bridges speaks during a hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on July 12, 2022. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

On January 17, 2018, I raised my right hand and swore an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” I understood every word, and took it in full confidence.

Sgt. Reagan Hasenfratz, who went viral on TikTok in recent days, seems to have been confused when she did the same. She thought she was swearing an oath to a Constitution that guaranteed her an inalienable right to murder her children with the full protection and endorsement of the law.

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Hasenfratz (whose name then, before she married a sergeant in her unit, was Caldwell) can hardly be blamed for that mistake. She and everyone else had been told for years that it was so—that the Supreme Court had declared it irrevocably to be so. It did not matter that there were no words in the Constitution that said as much. It did not matter that there were no words even hinting at it. When she raised her right hand, she thought she was giving herself over to the regime of Roe v. Wade

And in a very real sense she was. It is the nature of the abortion regime to erase the distinctions between men and women; it is the regime’s entire purpose. What better image could be offered of its conquest of America than a married, female U.S. soldier raging that she might one day not have the choice to kill her kids, thus potentially endangering her continued military service? What if one day a woman had to stop pretending she was just like a man?

In the viral TikTok video, Hasenfratz almost lands on this realization. After griping that she “woke up from a nap to this [news] on deployment,” the 24-year-old medic launches into a rant about the implications. (According to her public Facebook posts, Sgt. Hasenfratz is a soldier of the 1st Battalion, 66th Armored Regiment, assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. This means she is likely deployed to Central Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.)

She had just signed on the dotted line a week before Dobbs to extend her contract—this apparently in spite of the fact that we knew the decision was coming months in advance—and now has to “support and defend the Constitution and a country that treats its women like second-class citizens.” The plain fact of the matter is that women are a second class of citizens. Not in the sense that they are unequal to men as a moral fact. But they are different, an entirely distinct class whose role, with all its duties and privileges, cannot just be melted into that of the other. Women and men are not the same, and they are no more interchangeable in a republic than they are in the natural family.

Hasenfratz is surprisingly blunt about the rooting of abortion-on-demand in convenience. "I'm deployed right now,” she reminds us again, “And I'm a medic, so I know how this works, of like, I have an extremely limited access to birth control." I will refrain from asking why Sgt. Hasenfratz is worried about this on deployment to begin with, when her husband is back in the United States recently discharged from the Army. I will simply observe that she treats abortion—the brutal dismemberment of a defenseless human person—as just another means of self-castration, a last-ditch effort to transcend biology when it clashes with professional or social aspirations.

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There can be no half-measures here. We cannot continue with concession after concession to the political and moral vision of people like this woman, and just beg them to stop short of murdering children. They can’t. Abortion is the source and summit of their faith. It kills woman more completely than pills or work could ever do, because it does so by actual human proxy. They cannot conceive of a world without that sacrament. It is in their Constitution. Their Constitution is not the same as ours.

Nor was Hasenfratz the only woman to go viral for pro-abortion fanaticism this week. Well—“woman” is a loaded term, it seems. Khiara Bridges, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, let loose on Senator Josh Hawley for using the word in a hearing on abortion.

Bridges—sporting a septum piercing and a pair of massive hoop earrings with the word “Professor” set inside each in big block letters—had used instead the phrase “people with a capacity for pregnancy” in an exchange with Senator John Cornyn. A befuddled Hawley asked, "Would that be women?" Bridges, a board member of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, responded that "Many cis women have the capacity for pregnancy, many cis women do not have the capacity for pregnancy. There are also trans men who are capable of pregnancy as well as non-binary people who are capable of pregnancy."

Losing her self-control, quickly devolving from grating schoolmarm to wild-eyed ideologue, Bridges alleged that Hawley's very question was "transphobic, and it opens up trans people to violence." Erupting in bouts of panicked laughter, her voice moving up by octaves at a time, she seems genuinely astonished when Hawley answers "No" to her asking whether men are able to get pregnant. She ends by inviting the senator to join her class sometime, where he "might learn a lot."

Professor Bridges is not an idiot in any traditional sense. She has a J.D. and a Ph.D. from Columbia, and a cushy job at Berkeley. Even if we discount all of the academic prestige once attached to those institutions, we must admit she was savvy enough to navigate to and through them. Yet she has absolute confidence in a whole host of propositions that would be obviously absurd to most Americans with two brain cells to rub together.

She is just one step further along in the process than Sgt. Hasenfratz. She has intellectualized the underlying assumptions of the pro-abortion worldview, elevating the soldier's implicit sex denialism into an explicit, comprehensive, and ever-advancing theory. This is the unstoppable progress of that second Constitution. Our overturning Roe has not reversed its direction; it has merely has cast a light on the widening split.

Two Constitutions, two warring creeds, two civilizations, have been sharing this continent for three generations. The illusion of peace—to say nothing of unity—has been shattered. Our troubled TikTok soldier's disillusionment is so dramatic because the illusion was shattered so quickly. She has to decide now which Constitution claims her true allegiance. The realization for others will take longer, but in the months and years to come it will not just be Sgt. Hasenfratz who is forced to make the choice.

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