UK hospitals now ‘birthing people’ – media — Analysis
Despite the switch to ‘inclusive’ definitions, there is not a single record of a patient using them
A third of England’s state-run maternity hospitals have adopted terms such as ‘birthing people’ or ‘pregnant people’, in addition to or in place of ‘mother’ or ‘pregnant woman’, according to the Daily Mail. These powerful, influential LGBTQ groups promote de-gendered language.
A British newspaper sent Freedom of Information Act requests for information to all 124 NHS hospitals that have maternity units. It found 42 of these hospitals had adopted the language. Only 29 still exclusively use the words ‘women’ or ‘mother’ to talk about pregnancy, while 15 are considering giving their literature a woke makeover.
Mail received information from Epsom University Hospitals, St Helier University Hospitals, that they combined gendered with woke terms within the phrase “women and birthing people,”In a bid for “be as inclusive and representative as possible.”They could not, however, say if any of their patients had ever been identified as anything other than a woman.
Liverpool Women’s Hospital told a similar story, saying that while it has transitioned to using the “more fully inclusive language of pregnant people,”The company has yet to record a transgender woman using its maternity service.
Other hospitals are avoiding the word ‘woman’ in creative ways, with Southampton hospitals speaking of pregnancy in the second person – using terms like ‘you’ and ‘your pregnancy’ to avoid ‘woman’ or ‘women’.
The NHS’ official guidelines are unclear. While the health service’s website uses female terms in most of its maternity literature, individual hospitals have issued complex rules on when and where to avoid them. The NHS has also published information describing breastfeeding as ‘chestfeeding’, and removed the word ‘women’ from its online advice on menopause and ovarian and cervical cancers.
The NHS asked male patients to confirm that they were not pregnant in certain cases. “regardless of how you may identify your gender.”
The scrubbing of gendered language has been fiercely opposed by some feminists, who argue that transgender-inclusive language erodes what it means to be female. However, it is supported by some of the UK’s most influential LGBTQ organizations. Stonewall, which ranks Britain’s workplaces by their LGBTQ-friendliness, advises employers to use gender-neutral language, and specifically urgesHealthcare providers will offer male-only services to women.
Mermaids, an organization focused on transgender youth, has lobbied the British government to add gender-neutral language to a bill on maternity allowance for ‘mothers or expectant mothers’.
These terms have been used for the entire history of recorded history as a way to identify people who are able to give birth. “a deliberate exclusion of trans men and non-binary people who may get pregnant,”According to the organisation.
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