Doctors have been instructed to refer to mothers as “pregnant people” to avoid offending transgenders, according to new guidelines from the British Medical Association.
A newly issued 14-page booklet issued by the British Medical Association (BMA), entitled A Guide to Effective Communication: Inclusive Language in the Workplace, calls on doctors to refrain from using the term “expectant mother,” despite its biological accuracy.
The union’s advice to doctors comes several weeks after reports that Hayden Cross, a 20 year-old British woman transitioning to become a man, put gender reassignment operation on hold to have a baby.
There are no other known cases of a transitioning person becoming pregnant in the United Kingdom, while official figures show approximately 775,000 women give birth in the UK every year.
Despite the miniscule number of pregnant transgenders, the BMA has insisted doctors stop using the word “mother” when referring to pregnant individuals to “celebrate diversity.”
“A large majority of people that have been pregnant or have given birth identify as women. However, there are some intersex men and trans men who may get pregnant,” the booklet says. “We can include intersex men and trans men who may get pregnant by saying ‘pregnant people’ instead of ‘expectant mothers.'”
The booklet also describes the terms “born male” and “born female” as offensive because they “are reductive and over-simplify a complex subject,” and instructs National Health Service (NHS) doctors to refer to an individual by the gender they were “assigned” at birth.
In another section of the booklet involving race, doctors are warned that “difficulties can arise with expressions that use ‘black’ in a negative way, eg ‘black sheep’, or ‘black mark.'”
Philip Davies, the Conservative MP for Shipley in West Yorkshire, described the BHA’s guidance as “completely ridiculous.”
“If you can’t call a pregnant woman an expectant mother, then what is the world coming to,” he asked.
In 2015, LGBT activists convinced the Midwives Alliance of North America to stop referring to their clients as “women” and “mothers” and instead call them “pregnant people” and “birthing individuals.”
“Pregnant individuals are the only direct care providers for themselves and their unborn babies, thus the most important determinant of a healthy pregnancy is the pregnant person,” MANA stated. “The biological wisdom to give birth is innate, it has been held throughout time, and is experienced across cultures by all pregnant people.”