A Missouri Congresswoman is being widely panned after calling women “birthing people,” in a speech at the Capitol Thursday.
Rep. Cori Bush, a Democrat, made the comments while discussing how doctors dismissed her pain during her two pregnancies.
‘”I sit before you today as a single mom, as a nurse, as an activist, congresswoman, and I am committed to doing the absolute most to protect black mothers, to protect black babies, to protect black birthing people, and to save lives,” Bush told Congress.
Bush’s son Zion, now 21, and daughter Angel, now 20, were both born prematurely, she said.
The freshman lawmaker repeated the gender-neutral language in a Thursday tweet.
“Every day, Black birthing people and our babies die because our doctors don’t believe our pain,” Bush wrote.
The representative’s terminology was swiftly shot down on Twitter.
“Birthing people” – you mean women or moms?,” Republican South Carolina Congresswoman Nancy Mace tweeted. “The left is so woke they’re stripping from women the one thing that only we can do.”
“Why are you smearing bio-women to virtue signal to trans women?,” actress Rose McGowan commented. “Why can’t we rise together? Your language is creepy. You are gaslighting. What you are doing is dangerous.”
Others came to Bush’s aid, pointing out that surrogates and transgender men can also give birth, but would not be considered mothers.
“When we talk about birthing people, we’re being inclusive. It’s that simple,” NARAL Pro-Choice America tweeted.
Bush later circled back to address her critics Thursday, saying the outrage highlights “racism and transphobia in America.”
“I testified in front of Congress about nearly losing both of my children during childbirth because doctors didn’t believe my pain. Republicans got more upset about me using gender-inclusive language in my testimony than my babies nearly dying,” Bush wrote.
The debate comes as the blowback against best-selling author JK Rowling continues, after she criticized an article that said “people who menstruate” instead of “women” last year.
A Harry Potter-themed event at a New Zealand book festival was canceled earlier this week over the comments.