'Birthing People' Replaces 'Pregnant Women' in Biden's 2022 Budget

(Unsplash/Alicia Petresc)

The controversial phrase "birthing people" was included in President Biden's proposed 2022 budget, drawing criticism from the right and praise from the left.

The gender-neutral phrase referring to pregnant women coined by the left attempts to be more inclusive of the transgender community, while also including biological families. It was first introduced during a House Oversight Committee hearing in May when House Democratic leaders used the phrase multiple times in discussing "America's Black Maternal Health Crisis."

Social media users joined the debate online, after New York Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, a Democrat and the chairman of the committee, began an opening statement by asking, "How does one of the most medically advanced nations in the world continue to fail Black birthing people at such high rates?"

The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, commonly referred to as NARAL, tweeted following the hearing that "cis-gender women"—a woman whose gender identity matches her sex at birth—are not the only ones who can "get pregnant and give birth."

Multiple House members also used the phrase during the hearing, and it was included in an announcement made on the House Oversight Committee website, where the phrase "birthing people" was referenced four times.

Lila Rose, founder and president of the pro-life advocacy group LiveAction, tweeted how "incredibly insulting" it is to refer to mothers as birthing people.

"To help end this high rate of maternal mortality and race-based disparities in outcomes among birthing people—and in addition to the investment in maternal health included in the American Families Plan—the Budget includes more than $200 million," the budget proposal says.

The topic of "birthing people" and increasingly less use of gendered terminology has been contested heavily in recent months. While many liberal-leaning individuals claim inclusivity, those in opposition have concerns about such alternative views and their relationship to reality. As Rita Lowery Gitchell, special counsel for the Thomas More Society, said in a May column, "This is a name change suggestion to allow women who have taken surgical or psychological steps to deny their chromosomal female identity and to take on a male or binary or non-binary identity and not be referred to as 'mother.'"

She continued, "If the birthing people do not retain their uterus and the hormones needed for reproduction, gestation and childbirth then they will not be birthing people. A chromosomal male who takes surgical or psychological steps to identify as female, binary or non-binary will not have the biological features of a birthing person. So not just anyone can be a mother or birthing person. The biological differences of men and women allow for the creation of life and for the person or being with the female chromosomes to bear life."

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