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Birthing People's Day? Cori Bush Debate Rages Into Mother's Day Weekend

Newsweek logo Newsweek 5/9/2021 Christina Zhao
Democratic Rep. Cori Bush has sparked an online debate after using the term "birthing people." © Paul Morigi/Getty Images Democratic Rep. Cori Bush has sparked an online debate after using the term "birthing people."

An online debate sparked by Missouri Democratic Congresswoman Cori Bush calling women "birthing people" has raged on into Mother's Day weekend.

On Thursday, Bush drew praise and criticism after she used the term "birthing people" to describe mothers during a speech in Congress.

"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," she said.

Later that day, Bush repeated the term in a tweet. "Every day, Black birthing people and our babies die because our doctors don't believe our pain," she wrote.

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Critics of Bush's "birthing people" remarks claim that the term is derogatory and reduces the function of women to merely childbirth. On the other hand, proponents argue that the gender neutral term is inclusive of trans people who have been disenfranchised in society.

Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace of South Carolina tweeted: "'Birthing people'—you mean women or moms? The left is so woke they're stripping from women the one thing that only we can do. Leave it to libs to botch highlighting an important issue ppl in both parties. Can agree on by catering to the fringes."

Actress Rose McGowan tweeted: "Birthing People? I'm empathetic to your painful & unfairly traumatic experience @CoriBush but why are you smearing bio-women to virtue signal to trans women? Why can't we rise together? Your language is creepy. You are gaslighting. What you are doing is dangerous. #DemCult"

On the other hand, NARAL Pro-Choice American, a nonprofit that opposes restrictions on abortion, praised Bush and explained "when we're talking 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," NARAL added in a tweet.

American physician Eugene Gu wrote: "Transgender men have become pregnant and given birth. Human beings with 46XY karyotype, what we consider to be genetically male, have become pregnant and given birth. The term 'birthing people' is not only inclusive but also scientific. Sex and gender exist on a bimodal spectrum."

In the hours leading up to Mother's Day, the debate continued on Twitter, with some users calling the holiday "Birthing People's Day" or "Birthing Person's Day" and others condemning the phrases.

"Happy Birthing Person's Day to all the strong, independent birthing people out there!" tweeted @samjamwiches

"Tomorrow's the last Mother's Day. From then on its Birthing-people Day," wrote @tre_goated.

"'Women' is so anti feminist and inappropriate. It's 'birthing person' and happy birthing day tomorrow to all those birthing people out there," commented @Nuyawka23Mark.

Writer Lowell Cohn tweeted: "According to some silly people on the far left, mothers no longer are mothers. They are 'birthing people.' So in honor of Sunday, 'Happy Birthing People's Day!' Good grief."

"Happy 'Birthing People's' Day? Dumb Dems Try To Cancel The Word 'Mother'. They can't cancel the word Mother, the dems use it too much with the 'F' word. You do know the 'F' word is right? F=A=T=H=E=R," said @Merylee.

"I find it interesting that people who embrace the term 'Happy Birthing Day' or 'Happy Birth Person's Day' instead of Happy Mother's Day because it feels more 'inclusive' to them are excluding ALL adoptive mothers who didn't give birth to their children," wrote @triplejaymom.

Newsweek reached out to Bush for comment. This story will be updated with any response.

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