The White House’s 2022 fiscal year budget replaced the word mothers with birthing people in a section about public health funding, prompting ridicule Monday from President Joe Biden‘s conservative critics.
The Biden administration’s budget includes a public health section which addresses efforts to “reduce maternal mortality rates and end race-based disparities in maternal mortality.” The budget specifically addresses racial disparities between Black, American Indian/Alaska Native and other women of color. But it is the replacement of the word mother with birthing people that drew the ire of conservative think tank leaders and right-wing media members Monday following the release of Biden’s budget.
A Heritage Foundation lobbyist on Capitol Hill responded incredulously tweeting, “Why does Biden want to cancel mothers?”
“The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed nations, with an unacceptably high mortality rate for Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, and other women of color. To help end this high rate of maternal mortality and race-based disparities in outcomes among birthing people,” reads the 2022 White House fiscal year budget proposal.
The pro-choice nonprofit NARAL defended use of the term, tweeting, “When we talk about birthing people, we’re being inclusive. It’s that simple. We use gender neutral language when talking about pregnancy, because it’s not just cis-gender women that can get pregnant and give birth. Reproductive freedom is for *every* body.”
The phrase birthing people also drew mockery from Republicans last month after Missouri Congresswoman Cori Bush used the term during House testimony about the country’s Black maternal health crisis. “Every day, Black birthing people and our babies die because our doctors don’t believe our pain. My children almost became a statistic. I almost became a statistic,” the Democratic lawmaker testified on May 6.
The Biden budget proposal goes on to include “more than $200 million to: reduce maternal mortality and morbidity rates nationwide; bolster Maternal Mortality Review Committees; expand the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies program.”
Full story at MSN.com.