Campaigners, backed by the British Medical Association, are calling for the term “pregnant people” to replace “pregnant women”
The British government is now suggesting that expectant mothers should be called “pregnant people” in a submission to amend a UN treaty.
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The proposed amendment is to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the UK has been a signatory of since 1976.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s submission suggests using the term “pregnant people” to avoid excluding “transgender people who have given birth” according to a report in the Sunday Times
Earlier this year the British Medical Association also said pregnant women should not be called “expectant mothers” because it could offend transgender people.
The Telegraph reports:
An FCO spokesman said: “The UK does not object to the use of the term ‘pregnant woman’. We strongly support the right to life of pregnant women, and we have requested that the Human Rights Committee does not exclude pregnant transgender people from that right to life.”
Sarah Ditum, a feminist writer, told The Sunday Times: “Having a female body and knowing what that means for reproduction doesn’t make you ‘exclusionary’. Forcing us to decorously scrub out any reference to our sex on pain of being called bigots is an insult.”
The organisation is the latest to encourage the use of gender-neutral language. Earlier this year, the British Medical Association told staff not to refer to “expectant mothers” as it could be offensive.
In an internal document, the organisation said: “A large majority of people that have been pregnant or have given birth identify as women. We can include intersex men and trans men who may get pregnant by saying ‘pregnant people’ instead of ‘expectant mothers’.”
At the time, the Conservative MP Philip Davies described the guidance as “completely ridiculous”.
He said: “If you can’t call a pregnant woman an expectant mother, then what is the world coming to?”
A series of primary schools have introduced gender-neutral uniforms to cater for children who are questioning their gender identity.